Choosing The Way Of The Cross
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One of the most powerful books that I have read and return to from time to time is The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. It reminds me of what walking with Jesus looks like even through the darkest of days. Her testimony is honest and humble. Corrie Ten Boom was not perfect, but she sought to submit herself to the will of the Lord and what a high calling that is. Ten Boom once shared a story of her encounter with a Nazi guard after giving a talk on the subject of forgiveness in Munich. In summary, this guard, who she recognised, had found forgiveness in Christ and was asking for forgiveness from her. Corrie Ten Boom did not shy away from describing the raw emotion involved.
“I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion–I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
Sometimes we allow ourselves to believe that unless forgiveness comes from a place of light and love, then it is not authentic. Corrie Ten Boom described her experience as, “… first the cold-blooded decision, then the flood of joy and peace.” The authenticity of forgiveness comes in our submission to the will of God not in our emotions.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
These verses from Colossians challenge the Christian to choose the way of the cross. So much about our daily walk with Jesus is about making the choice to do just that – walk with him. In the first part of chapter 3 alone we are told ‘set our hearts,’ ‘set our minds,’ ‘put to death,’ ‘rid yourselves,’ and now we are told to ‘clothe ourselves.’ These are not throw away comments, but confident statements made in the knowledge that we have the sustaining power of the Holy Spirit living within us to help us. Corrie Ten Boom describes another occasion where she seethed for weeks after making a decision to forgive close friends who had hurt her. We will be faced with the choice described in Colossians 3:15 to, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…” This will sometimes be a daily exercise of begging for us, but the benefits of throwing ourselves into the arms of Jesus will far outweigh anything else the world can offer.
In the words of the wonderful hymn by Helen Lemmel:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Pray with us today's prayer request:
'And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.' (Hebrews 10:24-25).
The churches in the Anglican Church in the Province of Myanmar are meeting online. Pray that they may continue to meet and encourage one another.
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