"Guest Blog #1.
Jonathan is taking a short rest and was gracious enough to let me guest blog for him…mercy may be needed after this first foray--we will see.
My name is Jason…my middle name is Jonathan. It is a good name.
I just endured an 18-hour roundtrip drive from Chico to Ely, NV during which I started listening to our pastor’s recent Wed nite survey through the Bible. It took him nearly a year and a half to complete. I got from Genesis to Nehemiah during my trip. Thank you Lord for MP3!! It was quite a different experience traveling through the Bible in such rapid succession and I look forward to the next long trip where I hope to meet all the prophets.
At one point during the trip (near Fallon, NV…just past midnight), I finished listening to I and II Samuel and decided to call Jonathan with some questions…(it sure is nice having a night-owl friend). I commented to him that I thought: “If King David were President of the U.S. his antics would rate him up there with some of our worst leaders: infidelity, murder, corruption, pride, misuse of power, etc” And Jonathan wisely steered me from my negative thoughts to think that: “Despite his shortcomings, David experienced forgiveness, received forgiveness, and moved forward forgiven.”
I recently read Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. There is much to recommend concerning that book but the passage that shined brightest for me was the one where she ran into one of her German captors (torturers) years after the war. She had just finished one of her many presentations in which she told how the love of Jesus was what held and sustained her. The man came up to her, joyous that she held him no ill-will and had forgiven him. He held out his hand. Corrie then writes of the raging battle that waged within her at that moment. She did NOT want to shake that man’s hand! But the Holy Spirit empowered her, filled her, and spilled out of her as she submitted to the Lord and shook that man’s hand with the love of Jesus in her heart.
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
I don’t know about you, but I can’t do that…I just can’t. I have tried and failed. I’ve thought that when the time came I could be just like Corrie and be an ambassador of love and goodwill. But I can’t. Corrie herself said that she couldn’t either. I can’t react instinctively with love…sometimes even with my own family! But we are called to be perfect. We are called to love. We are called to forgive. And since I can’t do it on my own…well, the answer is simple: Jesus. “Therefore, if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:1-2
Where is my mind? Where are my thoughts? Where are my activities? Where are my words? Where is my heart? Where is yours?