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Posts Tagged ‘Living for the Lord’

For several consecutive Sundays, the Love of God has been preached in our church and I can’t help but be amazed at the expanse of God’s love for mankind.

Over and over again, we heard it being said that we have to extend this love to our fellows, in the most expressive way that we can, leaving all selfishness aside, and just plainly offer our service to those who are in need, be there for those who love us, and go as far as loving those who hate or dislike us.

A Christian who genuinely seeks to please the Lord would work hard in loving his neighbor as his own self. After all, Paul made it clear that even after doing all the kind deeds we know, if love is lacking, then it all means nothing. Our motives should be always in line with God’s will, and His ultimate will for us in this world is to be the ‘light’ and ‘salt’ to the people. We can’t passionately do that unless we truly love.

As we seek on being the person that God wants us to be, we may find it hard to do things with love all the time.
How could you possibly love someone who is intenionally hurting you?
How can you love someone who does everything to destroy you?
How can you love someone who cause pain to your family?
How can you love someone who ruins your reputation?
How can you love someone who tears you down?

In my post about Essau, we know how everything turned all right in the end even when Essau was very angry after Jacob stole his father’s blessing. But of course, before they crossed paths again, Essau had enough time to meditate, accept, and get over with his grief and anger. We don’t know how long it took for him to finally forgive his brother, but I’m certain that it took time. Like any other painful circumstance that we encounter, it always takes time to heal the wounds of a scarred soul.

I know that at times, it would seem impossible for us to simply show genuine kindness to people who angers us, especially when the issues involve are still fresh and we still feel outraged about what has been done to us.
But it’s part of working to live for the Lord.

The things that may look so hard at first may be the very things that will be most beneficial for us in the end. They can help us become stronger, wiser, and allow us to see the surprising lessons of life that we could use in the future.

So as the second quarter of the year begins, let us remind ourselves of our true purpose, our calling. And that is to introduce Jesus to everyone and extend His love even to those who are so hard to love. After all, the people who might be very hard to love are the ones who need love the most.

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Lately I have been wonderUntitleding… What if I’m the Essau in this story? What if I’m not Jacob?

In every story, there’s always a hero. And as such, there’s also a villain – the bad guy, the antagonist, or whatever you want to call him.

Then, I realized, it’s not always the case.

Yes, Essau has never been a perfect man. And neither is Jacob.

The first mistake that Essau committed was selling his birthright to his younger brother. He was so tired and hungry and very desperate to eat.  His weakness took over which resulted to his total abandonment of his firstborn privilege.

With his brother taking advantage of the situation, he wasn’t able to think very well and at that moment he was no longer consciously aware of what he’s losing. Until that moment of truth arrived – Isaac is dying and has to bless the firstborn while time still permits.

Essau was angry. When he found out what his brother did, he cried to his father. He begged for his blessing. He was still angry with his brother even after Isaac blessed him and he vowed (to himself) that he will soon kill Jacob (Gen.27:41). If Essau finally realized his mistake at that point was a mystery. But from the Sunday school stories I’ve heard over and over again, the only thing that has registered in my mind is how Jacob escaped, with the help of Rebecca because she heard Essau’s plan on killing Jacob.

After so many years, the time has finally arrived for them to cross paths again. I can actually feel Jacob’s anxiousness while preparing to meet his brother. He has confidently gained blessings from the Lord. But then, deep in his heart, he knew that he also did something wrong. After all those years of receiving favor from the Lord, he is now about to face one of the greatest challenges in his life. He lived a good life only to realize that there’s been a buried fear in him – a fear of facing his older brother again and be confronted with his wrath for being cheated.

But nobody could’ve ever anticipated Essau’s reaction. He directly went to hug his brother tightly and kindly declined when Jacob offered his gifts for him. For Essau, the most essential thing at the moment is to see that his little brother is doing well and has been abundantly blessed by the Lord.

Taking a closer look, we know that it was really Essau’s fault that the blessing was taken from him. But when his anger vaulted from realization of that fact, we may conclude that he could be very angry enough with his brother to consider talking to him again.

However, he has been a perfect example of what a true Christian must be – knows how to accept mistakes, knows how to be humble and knows how to refrain from living with bitterness.

And speaking of bitterness, I sadly say that I have so much of that – stuffed inside my heart. Yet it’s amazing how the wonderful life of Essau has opened my eyes into a wider understanding of the things that happened and are still happening in my life. And whenever I’m about to speak ill words against someone who hurt me so bad or even planned on taking revenge, I can hear the Lord whispering in my ears, “Remember the life of Essau…”

Okay, Lord. Yes, I’ve been hurt. I may have felt cheated. I may have felt betrayed. I may have felt rejected. But I have a God who can heal me. I have a God who can turn the messy events of my life into a powerful testimony. And the people whom I considered traitors, hypocrites, and haters are not perfect. But hey, neither am I!

So instead of wasting my energy on pouring angry words out and end up regretting whatever hateful words I could have said, I learned to simply ask the Lord to forgive me, for I may only have been blinded that it was in fact my fault that these troubles are happening to me.

Truthfully speaking, it will be hard to become a bitter-less Essau all the time. But then again, that would be a great challenge for us Christians, especially now that the prophecy in Revelation are already happening.

And while everybody are busy talking and debating about how the end will take place or who the anti-Christ will be or if the present self-proclaimed prophets/dreamers are real, I think, I want to be more concerned with allowing the glory of God to illuminate through me by freeing myself from bitterness and continually living up my purpose, rather than spending time in sulking and letting my anger get the best of me until I forget what I’m called for.

What about you?

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