Q: What is Five Minute Friday?
A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate click HERE.
Five Minute Friday Prompt: ANOTHER
It took me a little while to come up with something to fit this theme – ANOTHER!
In the beginning nothing suggested itself to me. Nothing came immediately to mind. What can I write about that would be personally meaningful to me as the writer and to you, as the reader?
I looked up the Oxford dictionary meaning to see if this would give me some inspiration and do you know what? It did!
I saw that one of the meanings of this word is: something different and then Paul’s words came to mind about “another gospel”. Now I have an idea of where to take this theme!
Do I, do you, believe or live our lives according to another gospel?
A gospel not according to Christ, or even according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John but according to my, or your convenience. A gospel that fits in with our ideas of who God is and who we want him to be, not as he actually is. And a gospel that makes less demand upon us than that which the true gospel requires.
For instance, the gospel according to Jesus demands that we forgive. Not just once, or even three times, but 70 times 70!
END OF 5 MINS
So, if you examined your life, if you were absolutely honest with yourself (not the sanitised honesty that you present for the scrutiny of others), but the true, raw honesty of “it-is-what-it-is!” would you emerge squeaky clean?
I know when I look at my heart and assess myself in the light of God’s Word in this particular regard, the picture I see is not so pretty. It’s a picture marred by the stain of an unforgiving spirit. A picture that presents a detailed record of wrongs against others. A picture that ought to have been cleaned with the emulsion of forgiveness, mercy and compassion and should have been repainted with the brushes of obedience.
Instead it’s a picture that has built up a steady film of grime and dust. And instead of that picture being framed by the beauty of humility and mercy, it is stretched upon the canvas of a critical and judgmental spirit.
This picture is the result of a gospel according to moi… a gospel according to Carol. A gospel that is man-made and mixed, prompted by the devil’s goading input, along with my rebellious and self-righteous response to those who offend me.
But as I examine my heart and life in the uncompromising light of God’s Word, as I look within my conscience at the picture of Jesus hanging upon his cross, as I regard the image of his marred face, his broken body, as I recall all that he suffered, so that I can enjoy a new destiny, a happy-ever-after scenario of complete and utter peace, yeah, everlasting joy in Heaven, I feel convicted. I feel ashamed.
How could I continue to behave like the protagonist in Christ’s parable of the ungrateful servant? How could I fail to forgive those who have trespassed against me, when God my Father, when Christ my Saviour, has forgiven and continues to forgive me of so much more?
No matter how big, how deep the wounds of those offences, what deception, what seed of arrogance could cause me to choose this other gospel—a gospel according to my sanctimonious standards, a standard which fell far, far short of God’s measure of righteousness in the first place? A standard which failed to satisfy God’s wrath, who required the shedding of innocent blood, the burden-bearing of an entire world’s sin and depravity before he could be appeased, before the atonement for Adam’s act of treason could be accepted?
Father-God forgive me (there I go again – needing forgiveness!).
Lord Jesus forgive me. Thank you for your wonderful example of forgiveness towards those who hated, humiliated and killed you.
Holy Spirit help me. Remind me to take up my cross and die daily to the ungracious demands of my flesh, to my unmerciful requirements for personal vengeance, to my unforgiving heart.
Help me to walk God’s highway of holiness with humility and help me to paint a Christ-like image over the offences of others, even if it requires me to do so, seventy times seventy each day, even each hour!
Friends and followers, have a blessed weekend and may God’s divine peace and protection rest upon you and upon your loved ones, as we negotiate the paths of these unprecedented times.
Carol (aka Lady Cee)
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