Friday, September 7, 2018
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?
Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven."
This August, an army of Orange Striped Oakworms (pictured above) take up residence in the towering oak tree whose branches arch high above our deck. In this part of their life-cycle, eating is a constant activity, and the oak tree, it seems, provides a bountiful spread.
But as we all know, eating results in the eventual process of elimination. That's right - caterpillar poop!
Now, these tiny pellets may look innocuous enough, even reminding us of small peppercorns. But don't let their innocent facade fool you. When the rain falls, and we've had a ton of precipitation this summer, these itsy-bitsy particles swell to three times their original size! And to add insult to injury, when we go to sweep the bulbous scat off the deck, they smear, leaving behind an ugly discoloration on the wood surface. No photo here; I'm leaving to your imagination your favorite illustration of "gross!."
It doesn't take another of these incidences for my husband, Danny, and I to sweep off the deck every chance we get. Better to be proactive than caught off guard.
And aren't our sins rather like those dry, inert pellets? If we don't acknowledge them promptly, running to Jesus for forgiveness, asking Him to sweep them from the decks of our hearts, they are sure to swell, fester and leave a poisonous stain on our souls.
Just as Jesus is sure to forgive us when we repent of our sins, we must be just as quick to forgive others. If we fail to do so, as many times as the circumstances might require, we only punish ourselves.
Simple concepts. Not easy to follow at times, but follow, we must.
And follow, we can, when we are following Jesus.
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