September 17, 2021
Hope you are having a great weekend. Everything seems to get more colorful each day. This morning I wrote letters, made some side dishes and did some packing. Lots of details when you on a trip. Lily is making good progress and will be taking the plane home this afternoon so please pray it may go well for her.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
When we come to faith in God, we are called to be His instruments of grace; that means, as St. Francis of Assisi would say, we are to be the bearers of God’s love, the pardoners, the bringers of hope, the comforters of those who grieve. It is not always easy to be that, and when someone lives it out in their life, we feel divinely inspired by their example. We are not to excuse ourselves, saying that we are unfit or too unimportant to be God’s instruments, but rather that we all live out the Jesus way in a variety of ways. The most important thing is for us to be willing.
I was reading of the life of Alan Paton, a white Anglican clergyman who wrote Instrument of Thy Peace, which was based on St. Francis’ well known prayer. He writes in a language of forgiveness and love, and encourages us to be active instruments that are willing to give our life, our gifts, and our strength to be bearers of hope.
Paton writes of a man who leaves prison to go back into the world for he paid for his crime. The prison chaplain assures him that his past is done and forgiven. But when he returns to the world, he finds that they have not forgiven him nor forgotten his past; so, he despairs and begins to doubt that God has forgiven him. That should not happen among Christians for we are to forgive others, even as we have been forgiven.
Today we live in a cancel culture and there are conflicts over the smallest issues. It makes for lots of broken relationships and we seem to be a graceless society. But as God’s instruments we are to forgive others and give up the right to get even. Jesus said in Matt. 6:14-15 (ESV), “But if you forgive others their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” We all have the same need for forgiveness and Martin Luther King said, “He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.”
Just recently at our weekly Bible Study we all wrote encouraging words on a card to a young man who was at Teen Challenge and accepted the Lord. He has a wife and children but is due to go to prison for a year to pay for his offense. We want to commit to pray for him and to let him know he is forgiven, and that he would be an instrument also, that God will use to win others even while in prison.
Let us all be His instruments of grace with forgiving hearts of love to all.
Challenge for today: Be willing to be extend grace and forgive the next time you get offended.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy