TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• We have a stubborn streak in my family that runs deep. And sometimes, it’s that stubborn streak that holds onto anger for too long, and lets bitterness overstay it’s welcome. It’s a real problem and at times, I’ve had to lecture myself that I need to love others more than I love being right. It’s a lifelong lesson.
As we enter Holy Week, I can’t help but feel grateful that Jesus didn’t feel the same about us. Instead of stubbornness, He chose surrender. He willingly sacrificed Himself and didn’t begrudge us for being the reason He would face an agonizing death. He let love win. He wasn’t bitter about our sinful natures because He wanted to make us clean. He wasn’t angry at His accusers because He felt compassion for them. And then, when Judas betrayed Him and Peter denied Him and so many of the disciples deserted Him… He still loved them.
Let’s read Ephesians 4:31-32. It says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” As we read this, we have to recognize this truth: Jesus walked to His own death without bitterness, wrath, anger, protest, slander, insults, or malice. He chose kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and love over all those emotions that He had every right to feel!
So when our stubborn streak wants to hold the grudge and retaliate and be self-justified in anger… When we think of what Jesus did, our inflated sense of self-righteousness tends to fizzle like a punctured balloon. We don’t have the right.
It’s a process and praise Jesus for His extraordinary patience… we are a work in progress and it’s through willing heart and spirit that the Holy Spirit can truly mold us to be more like Jesus.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for not holding a grudge over our sins when He was nailed to the cross. Ask the Holy Spirit to mold you and make you more like Jesus. Ask Him for a spirit that surrenders to His will rather than yielding to your own stubbornness.
SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Download a free Bible-In-A-Year Reading Plan when you subscribe! Join an online prayer group at www.facebook.com/groups/onlineandonourkneesprayergroup. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.