“Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.” (Jn 17:11)
The Lord Jesus’ prayer of separation from the disciples in John 17 (v. 11, 21, 22) is a special prayer for the disciples’ unity. It can be seen that what the Lord Jesus cared about most was that the disciples could not be united after He left. Apostle Paul warns believers to be careful, if they bite each other, he is afraid that they will destroy each other (Gal 5:15).
I said, “LORD, be merciful to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.” (Ps 41:4)
God is the one who rules over the affairs of our lives. He meets us in our downcast state and pours out grace upon us. A crushed spirit is the shortcut to the throne of grace.
Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. (Col 3:13)
Because of our human nature, there’s probably someone out there that we just can’t get along with. Forgiveness can be difficult when intense pain has been caused by wrongdoings. It is so hard for us to forgive and forget. Even though we try to forgive, those hurtful thoughts may keep creeping up in our minds. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we need to stop our fights or arguments, ask God for healing, and learn to forgive and forget. If not, we won’t have inner peace. Worst of all, if we do not forgive, just as God in Christ also has forgiven us, God will not forgive us (Mt 6:15).
I have been through the phase of seeing other people’s flaws and even recalling what people have said and done to me. Whether those things were intentional or accidental, I do not know. But one thing that is eye-opening to notice is how God’s grace abides with people despite their flaws. When I talk about flaws, I am not talking about those who speak against the truth or preach a different gospel than that in the Scriptures; such are cursed according to the word of God (Gal 1:6-9).
But for those who have had an oversight, who did not realize what they did wrong, God’s mercy extends to them when they realize and repent (cf. Lev 4:22-31). Are we patient enough to be patient with others? Continue reading
“So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.” (Joel 2:13)
Have you ever cried with a broken heart? What does it mean to “rend your heart and not your garments”? In Old Testament times, when tragedy occurred, smearing one’s head with ashes, tearing garments, and putting on sackcloth was the expression of mourning. This was a customary way for Jews to show their grief. However, God instructed the people that He was not interested in outward expressions but in a broken and contrite heart. The tearing of outer garments is useless unless the heart is broken in repentance and contrition. Continue reading