Monthly Archives: April 2015

Your Health and Forgiveness

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The Mayo Clinic performed a study several years back that determined that forgiveness could likely lead a person “down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.” The study pointed out that letting go of grudges and bitterness paved the way for peace, hope gratitude and joy. According to the research, people who were able to forgive possessed:

#1 Healthier relationships,

#2 Greater spiritual and psychological well-being

#3 Less anxiety, stress and hostility

#4 Lower blood pressure

#5 Fewer symptoms of depression

#6 Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse

#7 Greater potential for a longer life.

It is interesting to note that forgiveness is one of Jesus’ central themes in his teaching. In fact, the subject is mentioned over fifty times in the gospels alone. Thus, forgiveness is part of living the abundant life that Jesus has designed for us. (John 10:10) We have been designed by God to be people of forgiveness. Yet we often live our daily lives outside of this central tenant of our faith. If we can’t forgive we actually bring harm to our lives and allowing the thief to “steal, kill, and destroy.” God has written into our DNA or programmed our hardware in such a way that we function more perfectly when we purge our system of bitterness and anger towards others. Like my computer that is frequently slowed down by spywares or viruses, many people are walking around with poorly performing systems because they have not received their antivirus that Jesus provides for them – forgiving others.

 

Fellow brother or sister, is there someone you need to forgive today? Don’t delay. When you delay you are delaying your abundant life that Jesus desires for you.


How have You Changed the Earth?

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Recently, I was sitting in class when a thought dawned on me: “We were created to be stewards of this earth.” This is a thought that has come before and it is a thought that has similarly been dismissed. The thing that stuck me this time is that we have spent a lot of time talking about being stewards, but we may not actually be stewards.

In Genesis 1:28, God said to mankind, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” While I can see how “ruling” over the earth sounds fun, tough, and manly, I believe the text is indicating that we are to “guard” the earth. Put in that light, it seems very easy to rule out our guardianship, because we have been destroyers instead.

Please don’t mistake me – I’m not a lobbyist for green peace. But, I do have a question that I think every Christian should answer. How have you changed the earth? For that matter, how have you attempted to guard it lately? We are called to partner with God in His creative power, adding life not death to this world. I challenge you to consider how you can participate in this partnership with God. He has created you to guard the earth!


The Good Earth

One of my favorite books is “The Good Earth” by Pearl S. Buck. The book tells the story of Wang Lung, a poor farmer who has a love for the land, but a desire for prosperity and prestige. Throughout his life, Wang Lung faced troubles, like famine and poverty, but also experienced tremendous success, and eventually became one of the most influential men in his region of China. But Wang Lung never lost his love for the land. Despite the demands his success placed on his life, he always desired to return to the land. The most vivid mental picture I have every time I think of this book is of Wang Lung, walking among his farmland, with his bare feet sunk into the soil. He was never so happy as when he was able to commune with “The Good Earth.”

As Christians, we go through so many different seasons in our lives. We experience the euphoric high of salvation. The great weight of sin is removed from our shoulders and we experience the peace of Christ for the first time. Then we go through life. We experience financial troubles, family issues, conflicts at work, and health issues. We also experience great blessings, such as having children, being successful in our occupations and fulfilling lifelong dreams. For many, life takes us away from the fertile soil we find in Christ. As we celebrate the greatest event in history, where Christ gave Himself up and paid the price of our sin then overcame death, let us remember that we will never be so happy as when we have firmly planted our feet in the foundation of our belief in Christ. Matthew 13:23 says, “But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” We were once sinners, saved by grace and promised eternity in heaven. No matter what our struggles or successes on this earth may be, we are assured that God loves us. And that is a “good” that is beyond measure.