Choose LoveNovember 10, 2008
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you,
along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other,
just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32
God has called us to follow Christ’s example: He showed His great love and died for us when we were still stuck in our sin.
Consider the parable Jesus told of the king who forgave his servant an enormous debt, but then that servant still demanded payment of a small debt from another man. When we don’t forgive, we are forgetting about the huge debt of sin Jesus forgave (Matthew 18:21-35).
Choose to be governed by love instead of bitterness. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2). It’s easy to justify resentment, but it will hinder the quality and progress of your walk. Don’t wait around for someone else to do all the repenting—be quick to forgive.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
We can’t afford bitterness. This is a new season and the church is being called upon to reach a world that is shaking off complacency and asking to know God. Choose to unhitch your wagon from offenses one more time, and open your heart to God. When you get up in the morning, meditate on verses about walking in love. On the other side of this obedience you’ll experience advancement and greater effectiveness.
Love never fails!
Pastor Jeff Perry
St. Louis Family Church®
Copyright © 2008 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.