Father I am so grateful for Your amazing love and patience; grateful that You would stoop down and speak to my heart. There are no words to describe how thankful I am, or how in awe of You I am. Thank You! Why would such an amazing and powerful God take the time to fellowship with sinful and self-centered people? It overwhelms me sometimes. Let me live each day in an attitude of thankfulness. Help me to be God-centered rather than my natural self-centered self. Lord, my greatest desire it to share Your amazing love and grace with others. The world is so wounded and lost, and yet, You reached down to redeem. The problem is most of us miss the beauty of Your sweet redemption, because we constantly focus on our own kingdoms rather than Yours. There are some who miss You, because of what people have done in Your name, and that is something You take seriously.
And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” Luke 17:1-4
There are many ways to cause others to stumble, and I think the worst one is representing You poorly. When we act out of pride or religion we misrepresent You and cause unbelievers to stumble—they miss the great opportunity of entering into relationship with You. And according to this passage, we misrepresent You when we fail to deal with sin, either to rebuke or forgive. It is not our job to rebuke unbelievers, but our brothers and sisters– because we love them! However, we get that all wrong. We rebuke in attitudes of self-righteousness rather than love, and we hold on to bitterness. Once again, we are self-centered rather than God-centered and it causes people to stumble. Lord, please make me sensitive to Your Spirit, and help me to see those who have been wounded by Your people. Help me to bind up the wounds and point them to Your healing love. God forgive Your people for representing You so poorly. We have boxed You in and diminished the light that is meant to shine for those stumbling in the darkness. We are supposed to be salt and light, but too often we have failed. Forgive and change us Lord. Help us to see as You see, and help us to love as You love. We need You so desperately. Amen
Little ones, I am waiting with open arms—run to Me. In my presence there is healing and strength that overcomes the world. No weapon formed against you will prosper as you hide in the shadow of My wings. Though this world is dark and cold, my light still shines— the darkness has not overcome it. My love still changes hearts. It is never hopeless, because I am Hope and I am here. This world is passing away, but My kingdom stands forever. It has been planted on this earth in you. Let your light shine before men so that they will see and glorify Me. Live for the eternal kingdom that is in you, and not for a system that will soon fade away. As you glorify me, I will draw people to myself. There is nothing that will stop my purposes. Though you fail, and though people intend to harm, nothing can stand against Me. Just be faithful to obey and do what I have asked of you. It does not depend on you, but Me. Rest in that knowledge, and do not take on burdens that are not yours. I am faithful to complete what I begin. Yes, I do want you to love Me and love people. I want you to shine your light before men, but always remember it comes from me. You cannot manufacture light— you can only direct it. Be still and wait so that I can show where to shine. You are my treasure, not merely a piece of machinery. Shine for me and reflect Me, remembering it is all about Me and not you. That will free you to become everything I desire you to be.