Few talk about your victories but everyone remembers your downfall. If one headline told your entire story, where would you be today? Praise may turn to persecution and vice versa. We all know of King David and Bathsheba. Many will also recall King Solomon's 700 wives and 300 concubines. We're aware that Isaiah walked around without clothes for three years and that Hosea married a promiscuous bride. Sensationalism never fails to draw our attention while we often miss the message. Don't let God pass you by while in search of the next headline.
“Whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things...”
- Philippians 4:8
A man misunderstood
When Moses slew an Egyptian to save one of his Hebrew brethren, the feedback was not what we've grown accustomed to in the movies. There was no hero's welcome as he was actually condemned. He received a resounding "Who do you think you are?" talking-to for having the audacity to stand up for those unable to stand for themselves. There was something in Moses, most Hebrews simply could not identify with.
“For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.”
Jesus Christ was the greater Moses. He was greater than all the prophets he sent to warn, reprove and encourage his people. Jesus was and is the greater than. The children of God became marked by the world and he wanted to remind them that they were greater than.
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
1 John 4:4
Marked by pain
Pain is a universal language. We all suffer personal losses in our lives and empathise with those that have lost. Pain resonates with us. It's a deep rooted emotion that stems from our disconnect with our God. A disconnect that came through us forsaking his righteousness.
“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.”
When you're disconnected from God, you can never truly connect to others. We pursue surface level connections as we lose the desire to go any deeper. If you suffer from deep problems, you have to dive deep into the word of God. All are set free in Christ but not all make it to their land of freedom. Freedom requires us severing ties with the pain that once defined us. A child that's learning how to walk, will fall a couple of times but there comes a day when he is able to stand. Our bond with pain is not meant to last forever. To everything there is a season and there is a season for healing.
“He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”
The good news
The salvation of our God has brought us back into his sheep fold. We were once dead to our sins but he revived us by the living word that now lives within us. We strayed from home and took upon ourselves filthy robes but God never gave up on us. His love called us home.
“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”
When you are a recipient of everlasting love, you give love. The little that you have to offer may still be a lot to someone. Love is our culture. It's in our DNA as we were created by it. Never lose sight of the first and greatest command given to us. Always remember your first love. Love holds the body together.
“And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.”
We find safety in humility and repentance as vanity deceives even the best of us. Stay faithful to God. Headlines are made to grab our attention but be mindful of whose report you believe. Fear not the report of the world. Our report is of life and not death, victory and not defeat. Live in grace, walk in peace and be blessed.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”