My guess is today is the last snowfall for the season. The floodlights are on and I've been up since 4:30 watching the beauty of the snow and standing in amazement of all the wonders of God's creation. While many people find the snow "offensive," I love the way, here in the south, it makes us stop and be still. Tomorrow's forecast is for 63 degrees, so we will all be up and out again!
Now on with our study, which is convicting me more and more. Clean up on aisle Boo!
And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound,
the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
Jesus is giving the signs of the end times in this passage. So in addition to the prophetic fulfillments we've seen in Israel and the weather, we can add this description of how even Christians will act. Keep our eye to the sky. Jesus is coming back! :-) I know... Keep our faces flat on the ground too, praying for the salvation of many.
For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption,
but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
Bevere expresses, "You need to realize that when you sow the love of God, you will reap the love of God. You need to develop faith in this spiritual law-even though you may not harvest it from the field in which you sowed, or as quickly as you would like."
The Lord says, "In My greatest hour of need, My closest friends deserted Me. Judas betrayed Me, Peter denied Me, and the rest fled for their lives. Only John followed from afar. I had cared for them for over three years, feeding them and teaching them. Yet as I died for the sins of the world, I forgave. I released all of them-from My friends who had deserted Me to the Roman guard who had crucified Me. They didn't ask for forgiveness, yet I freely gave it. I had faith in the Father's love.
I knew that because I and sown love I would reap love from many sons and daughters of the kingdom. Because of My sacrifice of love, they would love Me."
Jesus gave it all. He fulfilled God's expectations. We set ourselves up to take an offense because we walk in self-centeredness. We need to free ourselves up from expectations. I think of the times I've probably been offended, when I gave a gift and received no thank you note. Did I give the gift to get an acknowledgment. (I think it may be more the upbringing of "You need to write a thank you note!")
Still I can see how a little offense can brew. You include someone in the gatherings in your home, yet not once have they ever invited you in for so much as a cup of coffee. The offense brews. You've driven carpool 5 times to their 1 and think "I'll never do this again, she has too many issues." Instead of seeing how God may have placed you in that person's life for such a time as this. "The pastor spoke to Genevieve this morning, but didn't even look in my direction. Well, maybe I just won't put my tithe in today." We can be huge messes in the offenses we take upon ourselves.
Bevere says, "If I have expectations about certain persons, those people can let me down. They will disappoint me to the degree that they fall short of my expectations. But if I have no expectations about someone, anything given is a blessing and not something owed."
Lord, replace the expectations we have of others with the unconditional love we have for them. In Jesus Name, Amen.