Posts Tagged ‘cross’

I am definitely not a patient driver. I can go from singing a nice Christian song that’s on the radio to yelling, arm motions and all, at another driver. I am even known to call a  time-out on the phone to yell at another driver. I don’t know what that is. I can’t help but wonder where that comes from in me. I am not a very angry person, in fact I really don’t like being angry. But in the car…dang!

The thing about the car is that my anger is very much a double standard. I know I cut people off, or make decisions that affect someone else’s ignition of road rage. I am not the best driver, and in times of confession, I drive while texting. I can pass people in their cars, who are talking on the phone, and hear myself say, “GET OFF YOUR PHONE!” and two lights down the road I get on mine. What is that!?

I know this attitude and mentality plays out in more areas of my life. Some things I am aware of and some are still surfacing in me. I am not the best at extending grace after I have received the huge blessing of grace and forgiveness. I resonate all to well with the parable of the unmerciful servant. Embarrassingly, I catch myself slamming others for the things I do.

I feel convicted this week by the words of Jesus as he confronts Simon and his friends. In Luke 7, Jesus is hanging out at Simon’s house for dinner. At that dinner, he loved a woman and forgave her of her many sins. Jesus ends the discussion about the woman by saying, “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

Those words are piercing to my soul. I know I do not get the depth of forgiveness and grace for me. The woman forgiven that night by Jesus knew the depth of forgiveness. I can speculate that from that night on she loved deeply and forgave freely. This woman loved much and knew much forgiveness.

Forgiveness and love are connected. Jesus doesn’t say,”to whom little is forgiven, the same forgives little.” Jesus harnesses the depth of how one loves with the understanding of forgiveness. By taking the time to look my heart over, I see how much I don’t get forgiveness for me. I am one who shows little love because of my lack of understanding. That wrecks me inside. I am really learning how much the two are connected together.

I crave being a deep lover of the heart. I so desire to understand how much that was sacrificed to forgive me. This requires humilty on my part. That is really hard for someone who is a professional at being self-sufficient.

How we love has everything to do with our understanding of our own need for forgiveness. Out of this place will we be able to forgive others. Everything stems out of our relationship with Christ. Forgiveness does not have two categories. Meaning forgiveness of self and forgiving others. I think that the ability to forgive others comes out of our own understanding that we are forgiven.

The more I have been marinating on forgiveness the more I find myself knee bound. I can’t seem to say “forgive me father” enough. There is humility in that recognized need. My heart feels soft and my love big.

I know I will teeter back and forth for a while. But this week I can honestly say I have “tasted and seen that the Lord is good.”

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For the past couple of weeks, I feel like I have been running into the theme of forgiveness. It seems like one of those times where every other conversation/sermon seems to have that one verse or idea you’ve been wondering about. That’s me. My usual response to those moments, you know once I finally get the memo to pay attention, is “dang it!” In the past week or so I have noticed a different response in me about forgiveness. Forgiveness has silenced my heart, and I lower my head.

We have entered that time after Easter where everyone has two choices. The first is that of choosing to walk in response to what Easter is all about, and that is forgiveness.

Most hearts are stirred around the holiday’s for good reason. The grief of death and the celebration of solidified hope came to pass. Christ rose and conquered death for me. This is no small thing. I want to continue to work out what was stirred up in me.

The second is the choice to “go back” to how life was before the message of the cross. One can look at Easter as a great holiday and fun times with the fam. Sometimes experiencing Christ can be boxed into that camp high experience. A camp experience is that high you can feel while being away from home, bonding with new friends, outside of your comfort zone, and connecting in a way you’ve never known before. Once you hit home that high fizzles and back to “real life”‘ you go.

Forgiveness is hard for me. I hate hurting people. I hate being on that side of pain. I really hate being on the side of the one needing forgiveness. It is the worst feeling in the world for me, (well beside puking).

I know I can dismiss forgiveness for me so easily. In taking over condemnation for myself, I dismiss the excruciating pain of the cross for me. I do not want to dismiss Christ.

Too often I say to God, “Don’t worry I will punish myself.” I get stuck in the weight of condemnation. It is so hard for me to hear, “Tracee, you are forgiven.” This is both from people and from God.

In remaining in the shackles of unforgiveness, I miss freedom. I miss the message of my savior. I miss the heart of another for me. I miss grace. I miss love. I even miss humility for me.

Part of my Good Friday pondering is to not miss love this year. I want to stare at the cross and really get that love poured down in the form of mangled forgiveness for me. I desire for that to be the heart I love and forgive through in return. I think this might be my writing theme this week.

Lord, help me not miss your forgiveness and love for me.

How do you struggle with forgiveness?

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The holiday’s always seem to stir up some emotions. With Christmas comes the sense of joy, family, nostalgia, ache for relationship and love, and a sense of togetherness. Sometimes the holiday’s can stir up old wounds, past hurts, grief, loss, and lonliness. Holiday’s bring up awareness.

Easter is different. As it stirs up emotions the purpose is different. Emotions are stirring up in me because Easter is a time of remembering that life was given for me. Easter is a time of remembering death and celebrating life.

Paul writes about this idea to some people in Galatians. Paul states that, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

I canNOT get past this verse. There is so much packed into these words. Paul recognizes that he has been redeemed from himself. Paul experienced a lot in regards to crucifying himself.

This week I am very aware of crucifixion needed in me. Experiencing death is hard. Laying down my old self does not come with out discomfort and grief. In my brokenness, I so desire for Christ to make life out of me.

The story of Jesus feeding the five thousand is always a reminder that in the breaking is where offered life comes from. God did that for me on the cross. Christ broke so that life could be had in him.

The second part of that verse talks about living by faith. That is hard for me in the midst of seeing past my brokenness to life. That is exactly where faith is needed. In this time of laying down my life that I need to believe that he loves me, tells me the truth, cherishes me, has my best interest in mind, restores and redeems me, and saves me even from myself. Acting in faith makes for the turning point in offering our brokenness.

All this is done out of love. “God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” I desire to give that same offering of love back and give him me.

My hope is that he will make life out me.

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