Written by cycleguy on August 7th, 2020

Have you ever read a passage of Scripture before-maybe countless times-and not really read it?  You know…sort of mindless reading. Honestly, I have found myself doing that when reading parts of the OT.  I have in the past read through the Bible in a year several times. But I “cheated” when reading some of the more tedious passages-like Leviticus and Numbers and Deuteronomy and some of the Prophets. Ezekiel was one of them. But one day I woke up as I was reading Ezekiel 34: 11-16. I was blown away and stunned by its beauty, power and all-encompassing picture of grace.  That grace is seen in so many ways, but I think it is especially seen in the one subject I think may plague more Christ-followers than anything else.

What topic is that? It is the one I’m going to be dealing with Sunday.


That just might be the one subject Christ-followers are more fragile on than any other.  When you think about it, forgiveness actually has two dimensions: vertical and horizontal.  Forgiveness starts with vertical-our relationship with God. Then it moves to horizontal-our relationship with others.  So many try to get the latter right before the former is in place. We get it all wrong.

To show you the emptiness of the latter without the former taking place I want to tell you what happened to me the other day. I was in Circle K (a gas station/convenience store) and the cashier made a comment to me and really to all who were around. As I stepped up to pay she said, “There are 3 things that keep me going-caffeine, tobacco and resentment.” I said to her, “The latter two will kill you.” She repeated it to me like it was a badge of honor. So I did likewise-I repeated my warning.  I felt sad for her and wished she had a wise friend who could help her. 

My sermon Sunday is entitled Grace for the Hassled Heart.  You already know the Scripture and the focus. Now I’d like to ask you to pray for me and for us.  Thanks.


3 Comments so far ↓

  1. I feel sad and sorry for that woman . . .
    Yes, Bill, I’ll be praying and probably watching, too! Blessings!

  2. This is likely to be long; get a coffee ready, Bill.

    The reason we sometimes feel resentment is because the hurt still lingers on. Even years after we have been hurt. Especially when there has been no resolution. The hurt happened. The person causing it moved away. No apologies, regrets, or forgiveness sought. Yet we remain carrying the hurt. Especially if/when the consequences of the hurt still remain with us now, every day, as a reminder of that hurt long ago.

    As you rightly say; resentment will kill us. The only possible remedy is honesty. Say honestly to God, “I still hurt. Perhaps I cannot fully forgive. I hand the people who hurt me over to You for You to forgive them on my behalf!”

    God bless always.