“For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous.” (1 John 3:11-12)
As a new year begins, we think of things to focus on in the coming year, right?
Eat better, workout, read, pray more, spend time with family, etc. I recently heard someone saying they wanted to square up old financial debts and feel less of a burden. I think that’s a great idea… but how about spiritual debts?
As we sat in church preparing for communion, I was reminded before the elements are distributed, we give folks a time to prepare their hearts to partake of the bread and wine, as the Lord Jesus Himself instructs. The Apostle Paul later tells us to not come in an unworthy manner and to examine our hearts first.
In putting these things together, my mind reconciled the comment about financial debts being addressed and “squared up” and how we too should consider spiritual debts. Is there someone we’ve cut off or avoided because they hurt us? Shouldn’t this be a major theme to address as a new year is beginning? Square up old debts and reconcile as God instructs us over and over in His Word.
The word “murder” is harsh, even worse when it becomes an action word. None of us think of ourselves as murderers, but that’s exactly what the Lord Jesus said we were if we had anger in our hearts towards our brothers. A few verses later we read, “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” If we’re gonna talk the talk, then let’s walk the walk. Forgive, love, and exalt Jesus in this new year. Don’t carry unnecessary burdens into 2021. Make that call, send that text, and get the ball rolling to forgive as Christ demands.
Question: Are you carrying spiritual debt around?
Challenge: Make amends where needed.
Prayer: Triune God, please soften my heart in areas it’s hardened in being angry with someone who’s hurt me me?
Rudy Rubio, Chapel Leader -- Los Angeles Dodgers