Don't you feel sometimes that you have earned an "UGLY"? I know I have. The more I get to know God the more I realize how strong my flesh is! The Flesh and Spirit cannot co-habitat with one another. One will bow down to the other, and my flesh is usually the one who wins. In Romans 7, Paul teaches that a civil war rages within every child of God. The opposing forces are the power of the flesh and the power of the Spirit. Paul refers to them as the " inner man" and the "outer man." What is at stake here? It is the control of the child of God! When we yield ourselves to the control of the Spirit, then love, joy, peace, patience, etc will begin to take root and bear fruit in our lives. As we yield ourselves to the control of our unrighteous promptings, then anger, jealously, impurity, etc, begin to take root and bear fruit in our lives. It is a choice!! Sometimes not a fun choice!If someone hurts you then often the flesh within you cries out for REVENGE! I know I have wanted someone to pay for what they have done to me before. I have felt that "an eye for an eye" I even will go so far as how I would love to extract some kind of return for the injury. I think I might even enjoy carrying this grudge for a while.
Jesus reminds me today when I am hurt by someone that vengeance is not mine. When we are asserting ourselves and demanding our rights, we are insisting upon the privilege and status that we feel we have before others...PRIDE.. Wow that hurts to even write about it. That is the one thing God himself despises more than anything - PRIDE.
God himself laid aside all his GLORY, all of his divine rights and privileges out of LOVE, the greatest gift of all. If we say we are "CHRISTIANS", then we to have to lay aside our rights and serve others. Think about the incarnation which was the act of the preexistent Son of God VOLUNTARILY assuming a human body and human nature WITHOUT ceasing to be GOD. He became a human being, the man called Jesus. He did not give up his deity to become human, but he set aside the right to his glory and power and he didn't demand people to respect him. He did not seek it. He did not insist upon it and he, Jesus himself, died on that cross for you and me. Don't you think he had earned his "UGLY"? There was tens of thousands of angels with their swords drawn, the scene was so bad that some of the angels couldn't bare to watch. Some were angry. Yes Angels have emotions and they love God . At anytime Jesus could have commanded them to come down and strike all of them down. The angels were ready. They would have saved him in a flash. But God didn't call them. He cried out "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do". He died for you and me. He took the sins of the entire world upon himself that day so that you and I could have everlasting life.
So the next time I feel like I have earned my "UGLY" I am going to stop and think of what my Father laid aside not asking for anything. FOR YOU AND I. I am going to remember what he took...the beatings, the people spitting in his face, being nailed to the cross, and that's only a glimpse of it. We have no idea what he really took for us on that day. Our minds cannot fathom it. I am going to remember...it is not about ME. I have always heard that SALVATION IS FREE. IT WILL COST YOU NOTHING. TO PICK UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW JESUS WILL COST YOU EVERYTHING.
Are you willing to live a life set by example that Jesus himself has set? What kind of fruit is your tree bearing?
Praise God this day for all your wonderful blessings. Then take some time to confess and ask the Lord to help you keep your life free from sin.
PSALM 25: 6-7
Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindness, For they are from old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness sake, O Lord.......