I was watching some video’s on how to shear sheep. It’s pretty interesting, but I’m not ready to give it a try. If you want to watch click here. The reason I was watching the video’s is that I had heard that sheep have to be sheared before summer or they could actually die from the heat. So I started researching this to find out more.
The first time a sheep is sheared it puts up quite a fight and I am sure feels like its in danger. However once they experience what its like after being sheared they are much more cooperative the next time. They soon discover that without all that wool it’s much cooler and they don’t get sick as easily. So the next time they sit quietly while the shearing happens, because they know they are not going to be hurt, but helped.
As I was thinking about that I realized that many of us need to be sheared as well. We have weaknesses that cause us to fail and struggle and overheat/stress out. We need to have the layers of sin, bad attitudes, hurts and hang-ups cut away. But when someone tries to do that we fight and kick and are scared or angry. You see we can’t shear ourselves, we need the help of other people. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” That is the point of accountability, caring enough about another person to respectfully shear away the layers of life.
If you want to be sheared here are three things that must happen:
The cool thing about this whole process is that when you allow someone else to sharpen you or shear you, you can in turn sharpen and shear them. That only happens when you you are open and honest. If you hide your stuff it can’t get sheared. Happy shearing!
This time of the year is an exciting time as new life springs up with the warmer weather, at least in Ohio. Easter is also an exciting time for Christians as we celebrate Jesus Christ. As we prepare for Easter 2014 I thought I would share some thoughts on the significance of what Jesus did that causes us to be celebrating over 2,000 years later.
So there you have it, that is what Jesus Christ did for us. That is why we celebrate so big during Easter, because all of this is amazing, unbelievable, undeserved and completely free. Salvation is not by works but by grace, it’s not initiated by us but by God and its not an afterthought with God, it is his eternal plan.
In 2 Chronicles chapter 7 God appears to Solomon. Solomon has just finished building this magnificent temple of the Lord. He has had tremendous success all along the way. His father David had prepared the way for this to happen and now Solomon has accomplished this huge project for God. They have been celebrating for 7 days and people are coming form all over the world to see this amazing temple and to worship God. Solomon and others have been praying and preparing and then Solomon hears from God.
In verse 12 it says “The Lord appeared to him at night and said: I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.” God goes on to say “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people.” This is interesting because God is saying that hardship has and will come our way. He says when things go badly, when sickness strikes, when hard times come, I am going to tell you what to do. This is verse 14: “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
So no matter what happens to us, if we are in God’s family, whether success, failure, sickness, heart break, tragedy or loss. If we humble ourselves, pray and seek God and turn from our wicked ways, God will hear us and forgive us and heal us.
So how does that translate for today. Jesus came and was the final sacrifice for our sins, so we don’t need a temple to make sacrifices anymore. Jesus paid for all our sins and gave us a clear path to heaven. If we believe in Jesus Christ and follow him, we are now the temple that God can live in. This verse in 2 Chronicles still applies today though for God’s people. I believe this is about God being more concerned about our spiritual & emotional health than our happiness or even our physical well being.
So here is the principle: If our daily focus is to remain humble and not be filled with pride and ego. Thinking less about ourselves and more about God and others. If our tendency or habit is to pray and seek God in any and every situation. If we routinely repent or turn away from our sins, bad attitudes, negative thinking and the things that pollute our minds and hearts. God promises to forgive us continually and immediately and take our burdens and worries from us. And this leads to healing and wholeness.
The bottom line is that God wants us to trust him and depend on him for everything. He wants us to turn away from the things that pull us down and turn to him who lifts us up. It’s about becoming more like Jesus Christ who trusted God fully and completely and turned to him throughout his life here on earth.
So God is still in the healing business. He wants us to be healthy and whole in every way and he wants to be the main focus in our lives, he wants us to worship him alone. No matter what comes our way he is with us, for us and in us and he wants to forgive us and heal us. God wants to free us from the hurts and damaging emotions that fill us up and tear us down. He wants to free us from the lies and deception and fears that keep us locked up and in bondage. He wants to heal our land, which is every part of us, not just our bodies.
One of the most powerful and helpful things we can do to be healthy emotionally, physically and spiritually, is to practice forgiveness. Forgiveness enables a person to release buried anger, resentment, bitterness, shame, grief, regret, hate and other damaging emotions that live inside of us. Forgiveness releases layers and years of hurt and begins the healing process. Forgiveness leads to an ability to love well.
It is important to know what forgiveness is and what it is not.
We should never base our decision to forgive on a person’s good behavior compensating for previous hurtful behavior. Forgiveness is something that happens inside of you, it comes from your desire to forgive for the sake of forgiving. Waiting until a person is worthy of forgiveness will feed your damaged emotions and cause further hurt.
Always remember that it takes only one person to forgive, but it takes two people to reconcile. You can forgive a person even if they don’t forgive you, but reconciliation always requires the wills of both parties involved.
There is so much more to forgiveness than what is covered here. Some of the principles I covered come from Neil Anderson and his booklet called Steps to Freedom in Christ. If your having a hard time making the choice to forgive, ask God to help you. He can give you the strength to do it.