ALOHA FAMILY & FRIENDS,  Beloved of God,   John 17:20-26

FORGIVENESS      2/12/20     by Ken Smith<><   

Today’s Scripture    (Across my desk this morning.)
“…Jacob said, “Please. If you can find it in your heart to welcome me, accept these gifts. When I saw your face, it was as the face of God smiling on me.”  (Genesis 33:10, MSG)

Be the Smile of God
Genesis 25 and 27 record two deceptions by Jacob that resulted in such great losses for his brother, Esau, that he vowed to kill Jacob. For many years, the brothers lived estranged. Finally, the day came when Jacob returned to his home, only to hear that Esau was coming to meet him with four hundred men. Vengeance seemed certain. But when Esau saw Jacob, he ran to him and hugged him, weeping and welcoming Jacob back. Jacob was so moved by Esau’s kindness that he said, “Seeing your face was as the face of God smiling on me!”

Life is not about getting revenge and hurting people who hurt you. It’s easy to try to pay someone back, ignore them, and make them suffer. All that’s doing is holding you down. Why don’t you be the smile of God and show them the kindness they don’t deserve? When you’re the smile of God, He’ll make sure people smile back on you.

A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You for all of the times that You have loved me and smiled on me when I deserved neither. Help me to be forgiving, merciful, and kind to those who have done wrong to me. I want to be Your smile to those who don’t deserve it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Ken’s Thoughts,
Probably one of the most difficult things to do is to decide to see an enemy in faith and be kind and good to them.  We so love that feeling of pride and judgmental attitude of superiority when we have some one dead to rights between a rock and a hard place.  Our flesh loves to gloat over a defeated enemy.   And even sometimes over a husband or wife or sister or brother caught is some offence whether real or imagined.  We are so very quick at time to snap at someone close to us as we always justify,  that they should know better.  I have a hearing loss now from firing M1 rifles in the Army and it is very common for us that were given the M1 Garand Rifles as the blow back is louder than standing next to a 105 mm cannon.  When I told the VA of the hearing loss it was automatic for expensive hearing aids and disability.  But it is interesting as to how much negative reaction that I now receive do to the inconvenience of my lack of hearing. If I can see the face I can usually piece the thoughts together but if someone is beside me, sometimes, I really get in deep trouble.  But with a lot of unknown folks I am respected even so as still being alive at 87, especially with the Japanese folks and Hawaiian folks.  As they were taught to honor their elders and they do.  I have been loved and blessed to live beyond the insurance actuary tables for 10 years now.

Christ Jesus has some interesting things to teach us about this, HE said:  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor (fellow man) and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. … Matt.5:43-48   Also Luke records HIS thought in this manner:  “But I say to you who hear [Me and pay attention to My words]: Love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, [make it a practice to] do good to those who hate you, Luke 6:27 and further: But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked. Luke 6:35.

You see the real point is that God sent Jesus, the second Adam to teach us how to make friends out of our enemies so that they can see the love of God and be saved.  Paul writes it this way:  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more certain, having been reconciled, that we will be saved [from the consequences of sin] by His life [that is, we will be saved because Christ lives today]. Rom. 5:10…  

Jesus came to teach us how to use our free will to love GOD, ourselves and each other.  Love does not exist outside of free will.   Love is a decision.  I have seen folks love a stinking, old, ugly, sick dog like a dying member of the family.  And totally overlook the damage and stench done to their home.  And all because of a loving decision to make that dog a member of the family.  In fact in some ways the dog was treated better than were the children.  So God sent Jesus to give us a living example of how very much HE loves you and me and how that we should treat each other.  So that we could also help others to become a member of GOD’S eternal family as well.  Christ Jesus even prayed for us here today: “ Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” John 17:20.

Please note that Christ Jesus was even more concerned about the souls of the men who were driving big nails into HIS hand and feet than he was concerned about the pain in HIS body:  “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.  Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” Luke 23:33-34.  So Jesus set the example for us in ULTIMATE FORGIVENESS even though none at HIS crucifixion were even asking for it.  So as true Christians with Jesus really LORD,  to have HIS interest at heart we are to spiritually grow up to be like HIM.  If we are not yet like HIM,  then we need to eat more loving spiritual food from God’s Word and GROW UP to be (Perfected) in and like HIM as John taught us: “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”  1 Jn.4:17.  It is possible, if we want it….

Yours, in HIS great love and wonderful grace and mercy, Ken<><

There is but one Church of Christ Jesus and all
who truly learn to LOVE & OBEY HIM are members.

Brazil’s President Declares Faith in Jesus at Huge Christian Missions Event: ‘Brazil Belongs to God’    Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has confirmed his faith in Jesus while attending The Send, a huge Christian worship event held in Brazil last weekend.

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