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A Vertical Moment

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God Was Pleased

Think about what pleases you. A favorite food? Favorite drink? Favorite vacation spot? Favorite activity or hobby? Now, elevate the thought of what pleases you about a hundred gazillion percent and try to imagine what pleases God.
 
What could possibly please God? He’s sovereign, powerful, mighty, in complete control, has everything under His feet, has all authority, is eternal, is the Alpha and Omega who is and who was and who is to come, has no equal and no peer. So, what pleases Him? What – here on earth -- could possibly please a God like this?
 
Paul’s letter to the Colossians is a start. “For in him [Jesus] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell…” (Col. 1:19). God was pleased that Jesus portrayed His fullness. Hebrews tells us Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Heb. 1:3). That pleased God.
 
But there’s something else, and here’s where we come in. Colossians continues: God was pleased through Jesus “to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (verse 20). It pleased God to reconcile us. Peace was made through Jesus’ blood. Our God is a God of redemption, and He was pleased to do it. 

Posted by Joan S. with 0 Comments

Enveloping Darkness

The title, "Enveloping Darkness," might be a bit strong, but to some, including me, it's an appropriate title to describe the effects of bitterness. As people, sometimes we love to be bitter. We love to feel angry and resentful. But the results can be disastrous. The first three fruits of the Spirit; love, joy, and peace, are utterly engulfed when we allow bitterness to take root. Like the attraction of opposite ends of a magnet, bitterness often pulls itself right up alongside an offense.  And by replaying the offense in our minds, and retelling it to others, anger and resentment have everything they need to spill into ALL areas of our lives.  We fool ourselves if we think we can contain the effects of bitterness into a neat little area of our hearts. Left to fester, bitterness opens wide the door for the Evil One to do his work in us.

If we are unable to shake the effects of bitterness, maybe we need to face the fact that we are unwilling to forgive. Matthew 18:24-35 is a parable about a man who was forgiven, but was unwilling to forgive. Though he was shown grace and mercy, he chose to withhold it from another person. One way to tell if we are bitter is when we look more at the offender or situation, rather than on God and what He offers us.

After a cleansing bath, my dog will shake to get rid of the water. If we find ourselves with even one ounce of toxic bitterness, it’s time to shake. Let’s confess our sin of unforgiveness, look up to God and say, "I've been forgiven, I will forgive," and watch the effects bitterness fade away.

Posted by Mark VP with 0 Comments

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