Earthly relationship - restored.
Today, in the quiet of the morning I knew I should have a repentant spirit and confess some of the heart-issues that were tied to Brad's and my week. But my journal entry this morning started like this: Jesus, My heart is so hard. I wanted to confess but didn't know where to start and honestly, part of me still didn't want to go there.
As I continued to journal my prayer or, more accurately, as I started defending my sinful actions a verse my dad had me memorize as a kid kept coming up in my mind, "Put away all bitterness..." I couldn't remember where it was located in scripture, so I looked up "bitterness" in the back of my bible and the concordance pointed me to Ephesians 4:31.
"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, underline mine)
Your Word is living and active, cutting to my very core.
My eyes skimmed the rest of chapter 4 and I knew the Holy Spirit had a renewing work to do in my heart.
Here are my observations from Ephesians 4, I pray they are an encouragement to you today.
I am called to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel (4:1), no longer am I to be content in my old way of life (4:17) - defined by selfishness and hardheartedness (4:19) - but taking Christ as my EXAMPLE (4:20) I am to renew my mind (4:23) and put on my new self which is created after the likeness of God (Gen 1:26), untainted with sin, in true righteousness and holiness (4:24). Because of the TRUTH that is in Jesus (4:21) - the fact that I was lost in my sin and he died to pay the penalty for all my wrongs and now, because I believe his sacrifice was enough and accept it on my behalf - I am sealed with the Holy Spirit (4:30) and am capable of putting away (4:22, 25, 31) my old self, complete with the old ways of communication (4:25, 29, 31) and capable of being kind and tenderhearted and quick to forgive (4:32). ALL BECAUSE GOD IN CHRIST FORGAVE ME (4:32).
I set down my bible and journal this morning with a fresh appreciation for the gospel. God met me where I was at. He reminded me that he saved me, loved me and has not only called me, but equipped me to live to a better life.
He can do the same for you.
Heavenly relationship - restored.