Sunday, November 25, 2012

Serial Killers Before You Eat Cereal in the Morning

Do you live in anger much of the time? Are you still bitter about what your parents, your boss, your spouse, your kids have done to you?

Are you someone who tries to control your anger, or do you find that the moment you sit down to eat breakfast, you want to tear up everyone from the past, the present, and possibly the future?

I can laugh about this now. I was like that. I had entrusted to myself the responsibility of taking down everyone who had ever taken me down.

I ended up a frustrated and bitter man. I had not yet learned that resentment, wrath, all of these things were from my "old man" Adam, and I am now alive in Christ.

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15: 22)

Paul tells us to reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive in Christ (Romans 6: 11)

Man has a bigger problem than sinning. We are sinners because of Adam, from whom death has reigned in man.

Rather than trying to fix our feelings or fix the felons who hurt us, we need to identity with Christ in us, our hope of glory (Colossians 1: 27)

Anger is a work of the flesh when it becomes wrath:

"19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5: 19-21)

Wrath is murder on the inside:

"But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." (Matthew 5: 22)

We are not called to live in wrath, but thrive in God's love. Paul explains what and how:

"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice" (Ephesians 4: 31)

So bitterness, anger, or evil speaking is allowed. Unfortunately, too many believers stop there and then try in their own effort to put away these terrible states of mind. Paul outlines how to do it:

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4: 32)

Verse 32 is tied up in verse 31. The greater your understanding that all your sins are forgiven in Christ, then you will easily forsake all wrath and bitterness to receive the gifts of righteousness and grace (Romans 5: 17)

Do not live like a serial killer in your mind when you eat cereal in the morning. Rest in the Finished Work of Jesus Christ, and watch as all bitterness and wrath flee from you.

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