Let's Be Inspired Together Blog Articles

 

Another Way

Little is known or shared about a guy called Lamech … don't leave the kind of legacy that any of us would want. Lamech was the great, great, great grandson of Cain, and had two wives and at least a couple of sons of his own.

Lamech’s 15 minutes of fame do not reflect favorably upon him. We read in Genesis 4 (23-24) that he called both of his wives together for a family meeting. During this time he confesses, perhaps even boasts, to them that he understands how revenge works. He says; “I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me.”

In the little insight we have about Lamech, he enters into a principal that we have been living and laboring under since sin began. It is a law of revenge and rights. It goes something like this, “If someone offends, hurts, or inflicts pain upon us, we have the right to pay them back”. I don’t know about you, but in my moments of anger and hurt my first response is to get defensive about my behavior and become aggressive in my response. For thousands and thousands of years we have lived under this law of Lamech.

But then Jesus shows up, and in the midst of turning the world upside down, introduces another way for us to respond when we have been wronged. Instead of seeking revenge, Jesus invites us to forgive. He changes the rules of the game and says “Before God, you no longer have the right to fight back, because God had the right to fight back against your sin, but instead chose the way of forgiveness”. Because God has chosen to forgive us, we are obliged because of our love for him, to forgive others. In fact Jesus goes as far to say that the level to which we are able to forgive others is the level to which God will forgive us.

Genuine forgiveness, Jesus says, is something that happens in our heart (Matt 18:35). And according to Ken Sande, founder of Peacemakers Ministry, heart level forgiveness involves making four promises;

  • A Promise not to dwell on the incident
  • A promise to not bring up this incident and use it against the offender
  • A promise that I will not talk about this incident
  • A promise that I will not allowthis incident to stand between us and hinder our personal relationship.

Tough stuff! Lemech established the law of revenge and retribution that is our default condition. Jesus established the radical notion of forgiveness.

Don’t follow the law of Lemech. Follow the way of Jesus

Finding Out What we Don't Know.


It is a profound and simple truism of life that we don't know what we don't know! Our mental capacity is limited to the knowledge that rests within us. While we can speculate about what we don't know, the truth is that we do not know what is not known to us. (I realize that in this past sentence I have made the first sentence more complex!)

What I find interesting is how people react when faced with a situation where they 'don't know what they don't know'. Below are two examples that I have encountered recently – one from a personal conversation, the other through a friend.

Eye Opening. When God Opens Eyes...

This past week I've delved into how God wants to use our eyes and shape our vision towards seeing Jesus more clearly. God's eyes are everywhere (Hebrews 4:13) and are roaming the earth, looking for someone whose heart is fully his (2 Corinthians 16:9). It is also worth noting that over 28 times in the Old Testament, there is a link between God's favor and God's eyes being upon a person. There is a continual thread of characters receiving God's favor when his eyes were upon them and seeking to found in God's sight, so that he can bestow his favor upon then.

Live in Reality

Have you ever noticed how there are some people who seem to live with a clear sense of reality, and a few who, well, seem to live a surreal world? The one who has defined reality is able to live with confidence, purpose and clarity. The people who live outside of reality tend to find themselves confused, in denial and often in conflict…primarily with themself!

John 4:1-26 (Click on link to see the scripture) is a story often used as a model for how to engage in sharing our faith and it certainly provides some excellent insight in to this. The story is commonly termed, "The Woman at the Well". As I have been reading it recently I have noticed that perhaps it has another insight for us, as it provides the contrast between two people who live with different sense of reality.

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