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A Week of Hard Lessons...


This past week started out like any other...  Babysitting my granddaughter, going to work, blogging, attending Bible study, spending time with my daughter and granddaughter, evening walks with my husband... but turned out to be a week of hard lessons...

To be transparent, I didn't see any of these hard lessons coming.  I was going about my business, but God had business with me...  To show His great love through discipline.

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Do you ever find yourself in a repeated situation where you rationalize your behavior as being okay in God's eyes, but you know deep down it is sin, yet you keep doing it anyway?  The Lord brought me face to face with that situation this week...

It was a hard lesson because the Lord brought to light the seriousness of the situation in such a random way, but the randomness is what made it so profound to me which caused me to see what it would cost were I to continue rationalizing the behavior...

I spent a sleepless night, feeling the pain of the potential cost...

In the midst of the discipline, I began thanking God for the rod which caused my complete repentance of this besetting sin, and spared me the cost...

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.
Revelation 3:19

Interestingly, I had just read the following passage of Scripture last week:

Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the Negev, and settled between Kadesh and Shur; then he sojourned in Gerar.   Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.  But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married.” Now Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You slay a nation, even though blameless? Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my [e]hands I have done this.”  Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.  Now therefore, restore the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”
Genesis 20:1-7

What a merciful God we have!  One who can keep us from sinning or continuing in sin, and will show us the way of repentance.

It doesn't always happen this way though...  There are times we are so entrenched in sin that we harden our hearts and do not hear the Lord whispering this is the way walk in it...

Even though the Lord may intervene and stop us from sinning, our first line of defense should always be to walk away from the temptation asking God to give us the strength to remain obedient.

During yesterday's sermon, my Pastor shared these stunning words about sin.

 "We need to treat sin like it can kill us!"

Such an incredible word picture to think on the next time we are tempted to sin.

Heavenly Father, please lead us all in the way of obedience and repentance for your Glory and the testimony of your Word.


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During my sleepless night of prayer and confession, the Holy Spirit brought another hard lesson to my mind...  He showed me that I am afraid of God's will, and that I can hold back when it comes to submitting to God's will...

Have you ever prayed for God to do whatever it takes in a situation according to His will?  Me - I always hesitate to pray that way...  It is my fear of losing something that I hold dear, whether it be a loved one or something about myself.  {I will be sharing a little more about this in this weeks Scripture Saturday post which will be published on October 17, 2015.} As I'm typing this, I'm wondering if this is the root of all my anxiety!  

It grieves me to think that I could feel this way.  Especially when I know that my Heavenly Father has loved me with an everlasting love and will never leave me or forsake me...  

His promises tell me this over and over again...

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—
 Ephesians 2:4-5

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
 1 John 4:9-10

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil,
 to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

I am thankful that the Lord moved in me to acknowledge the fear of His will knowing that this hard revelation will yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

Heavenly Father, 
You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth. Psalm 86:15

You will fulfill Your purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever... Psalm 138:8   

May we all comprehend how wide, how long, how high, and how deep the Father's love is towards us and be comforted to know that God's will for our lives comes from the hand of our loving Heavenly Father who wants the very best for us.


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The final hard lesson came when I learned that I was the cause of years of hurt for a friend over a situation that had happened a long time ago.  This friend and I had worked things through soon after the situation occurred, but I found out this week, that the hurt continued despite our talking about it some years earlier.

{If there has been an offence on my part, I have always been one of those people who needs to fix it right away because I can't stand the thought of someone being hurt because of me.}

I felt bad because I was oblivious to the signs that there was still residual hurt.  It grieved me to think I had caused someone lasting pain and didn't have the discernment to recognize it...

The Lord taught me that if a friendship seems like it has changed from what it once was, I should go to that brother or sister to make sure that I have not offended in any way.  It could very well be that everything is okay OR it could create an opportunity to open up dialogue and to correct an offence.

"Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering..."
Matthew 5:23

The Lord was gracious and merciful to my friend and I.  We both recognized our part in the situation and our relationship is now restored to the closeness that we had before.  

Heavenly Father, Thank you for kindred friendships to do life with.  Give us a sensitivity and discernment to know when we have wronged someone and lead us to restoration.  Thank you Lord for our Greatest Friend, Jesus, and for the  forgiveness and reconciliation we have through Him.

May we all be a friend like Jesus.

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I praise God for hard lessons because I know that the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son.  Hebrews 12:6



If you missed last weeks daily features, you can follow the links below:  :-)

Tuesday Thoughts - October 6, 2015

Wednesday Worship - October 7, 2015

Thanksgiving Thursday - October 8, 2015

Feature Friday - October 9, 2015

Scripture Saturday - October 10, 2015



You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eLivefree Thursday,Everyday JesusSDG GatheringInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday,Dance with Jesus,Looking Up Link-UpReflect His Love and Glory Friend Sharpens Friend Link-UpWords of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home FridaysSo Much At Home Link-Up, Faith 'N Friends

Comments

  1. Thank you for your transparency in sharing this post. I believe we need more sensitivity to sin in our lives that would result in more nights of lost sleep as we bring our hearts to God for His forgiveness and then experience the grace he offers.

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    Replies
    1. Michelle, Thank your for your encouragement and your thoughts on sin.

      Grace to you.

      Delete
  2. You have some lovely truths in this post! And yes...oh yes...we need to treat sin like it can kill us. Can you imagine how that would change our world?

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    Replies
    1. Jen, Thank you for your kind words.

      Your right! The world would be transformed!

      Blessings

      Delete
  3. It does sound like a tough week for you, but a blessed one. Thanks for being real and sharing honest struggles with sins and with God. May we ALLOW Him to triumph in us!
    Stopping by from Inspire Me Monday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carol, Thank you for your encouraging words.

      I'm so glad you visited. 😊

      Delete
  4. Great post. Especially the part about being afraid oil God'swill. Even though we know it is for our good and that His ultimate purpose is to make us like Jesus. We know he uses trials and suffering to make those changes sometimes and we shy away from that. Like getting a shot at the doctir's office.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura, Thank you.

      I liked your shot analogy! So true! There has to be a little pain to receive the great benefits and ultimate protection.

      I'm so glad you visited.

      Delete
  5. God is constantly shepherding us, kneading our hearts to be sensitive to his ways - thank you for sharing this truth - God can take the hard and redeem it!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

      Indeed! Our greet redeemer!

      Delete
  6. I think you were writing about me and my sin - snacking. God is talking over and over to me about it. I keep trying. Thanks for this post.

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    1. Deborah, Your welcome.

      Believes are kindred in all aspects even our struggles. Thanks be to God we have each other and the Saints before us to learn from and most especially to see Gods grace and mercy at work.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  7. Hi Karen, I agree with your reflections.

    Until we take our spiritual lives seriously, we will keep getting sucked back to old ways and habits.

    You are blessed, Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ifeoma, Very true.

      Thanks for the encouragement.

      Always a blessing to have you visit. 😊

      Delete
  8. Great post and wise words. Each morning I pray that God will try my thoughts and search my heart so that I can find the way to wisdom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words.

      And thanks for sharing such an inspiring way to start each day!


      So glad you visited.

      Delete
  9. Yes! Yes! Yes! I so agree with you. Its so easy to justify our sin when really we know deep down God is convicting us. I have also been afraid to pray those prayers asking God to do whatever it takes, but its really lack of faith in who God is. He is completely trustworthy. Glad that God reconciled your friendship and helped you to grow through it! Linking up with you at Tuesday talk:)

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    Replies
    1. Rebekah, Thank you for sharing how you struggle as well with the same thing I do and the encouragement of how completely trustworthy God is.

      Me too! 😊

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  10. I am so grateful for your authenticity here. God, this morning, convicted me of a sin (pride, in yet another form). I had clearly been rationalizing everything, but He finally called me out (in a merciful way) that I could no longer push aside. I'm praising God with you for His discipline. And grateful that your friendship is restored!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jen,
      Thank you for your kind words.

      And thank you for sharing how God is working on your heart.

      Me too! 😊

      So glad you visited.

      Delete
  11. God corrections is out of love and if we heed it will bear much fruit in our lives. Thank you for encouraging us to stand against against sin in our lives and allow God to root it out us.

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    1. Mary, Indeed. Everything comes from the hand of our loving Father.

      You are welcome.

      Thank you so much for visiting! :-)

      Delete
  12. It's taken me some time to embrace the "comfort" that is at the other end of the rod. I am so thankful that God gently (and sometimes not so gently) reveals my sin. Thanks for sharing at Weekend Whispers.

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    Replies
    1. Barbie, Thank you for sharing your heart. Indeed, it does take time and for me, can still be a struggle...

      Thanks for hosting! :-)

      Delete

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