Friday, September 30th, 2016
Suffering (Part 4)
Now Jacob lifted his eyes and looked, and there, Esau was coming... Then he crossed over before them and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
Genesis 33:1-3 (NKJV)
I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing... What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me...
Romans 7:18-19, 24 (NIV)
Jacob lied to get his father's blessing. He agreed to his mother's clever plan, and they used Isaac's blindness against him. Before his bigger twin brother (Esau) discovered Jacob had robbed him of his blessing, Jacob fled to his Uncle Laban's land. Once there, he was burdened and bound by guilt.
In the Lord's lesson-teaching pay-back twist, Laban swindled Jacob for twenty years. When God's future leader finally left, along with wives, children, servants and herds, he bowed to Esau in true repentance. Jacob became the man God envisioned.*
Actors, models and talent for Christ: If heaven is your destination and life on earth is how you get there, if no one here is yet perfected and every person still makes mistakes, then each child of God is becoming. You're becoming what God envisioned, because perfection is a process.
Therefore, a self-reflecting Christian, who admits the sins he's committed, needs a passing acquaintance with guilt: acquaintance as in true confession; passing as in not dwelling in it. Because if guilt prevents your progress, the devil will win and you will lose.
Surely not your life, if you love Christ, but certainly your witness of Him. Because a down-in-the-dumps Christian, a stuck-in-the-muck ambassador, can't example Christ's redeeming love.
If Jacob, David and Paul sinned big, if they repented and moved forward, then let their plan become your plan, too.
To Be Continued...
* Short article: What should we learn from the life of Jacob? http://www.gotquestions.org/life-Jacob.html
* Short article: How should a Christian deal with feelings of guilt regarding past sins, whether pre- or post-salvation? http://www.gotquestions.org/guilt-dealing.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Suffering series.