A Gift Instead

‘They are a gift, my lord, to ensure your friendship.’ Genesis 33:8 NLT

Here’s something you may need to know in order to move forward after a break-up. The person who hurt you may never offer an apology in the way you want. After Jacob cheated his brother Esau out of his birthright, things got so bad between them that Esau planned to kill him. So Jacob went to live far away with his Uncle Laban. Later in life, when both brothers had become wealthy and successful in their own right, Jacob decided to seek reconciliation with Esau. At first Esau refused to accept his brother’s gifts, but when Jacob persisted, ‘Esau finally accepted the gift.’ (Genesis 33:11 NLT) Notice, Jacob never said, ‘I’m sorry I stole your birthright; please forgive me.’ Basically he said, ‘I’d like to try and make amends.’ At this point Esau showed real maturity by valuing his relationship with his brother over his right to exact revenge. So the family was united. There’s a lesson here. God wants you to grow up and exercise spiritual maturity. You can’t control what others do; you can only control your response. Furthermore, if you insist that someone apologise to you—in a certain way—the relationship may never be healed. As a result, you’ll be left holding a grudge. And holding a grudge is like holding a hot coal; it will keep burning you until you let it go. For example, you may want your friends to apologise for their insults. But if instead they honour you with something extra nice for your birthday, respond with grace instead of judging their methods or their motives. In other words, ‘close the account’ and move forward.

SoulFood: 2 Chr 7:12–16, Matt 6:5–15, Luke 18:1–8

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2019

Today’s Readings

2 Chronicles 7:12–16 ()

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12 Then the LORD appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.

Matthew 6:5–15 ()

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“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

  “Our Father in heaven,
  hallowed be your name.
10   Your kingdom come,
  your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11   Give us this day our daily bread,
12   and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13   And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Luke 18:1–8 ()

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18:1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Sun 06 January, 2019


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