In my previous two posts, Today I Choose Gratitude and Today I Choose to See Love I started to look at some simple things that help us get through the pain and suffering that life, from time to time, throws at us. In this post I’m going to keep it brief and exhort you to step down. The verse I’d like to think about is from Hebrews 12:15:
See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;
The Greek word that the writer of Hebrews uses for “springs” is φύω – and it means to “germinate”. Jesus used the word in Luke 8:6 when telling the parable of the sower. The writer of Hebrews is saying that it is possible that bitterness that is already in the heart can germinate and cause trouble. God, in his love, allows things into our lives to reveal roots of bitterness, so that they can germinate and so God’s grace can deal with them. Our struggle is submitting to God’s Sovereign care. Read Paul’s words about Jesus, written to the church in Philippi:
Philippians 2:6-7: who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Jesus submitted to the will of the Father. John Piper preached a message called “Walk by the Spirit” at Bethlehem Baptist Church in which he spoke about the purpose of God in us and how His
“aim is not to change the veneer of our lives with some new learned habits of behaviour. His aim is a new creation … from the root up, so that new habits are the natural outgrowth of new hearts”
This is what the Lord is doing in me. He is not changing me externally. He is changing me from the inside out. Therefore, I must choose today to step down from the throne of my heart and give up my rights so that He can continue to be glorified in me. Here are a few verse to meditate on as you choose today to step down:
Your revenge: Romans 12:19-20: Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Your comfort: Luke 9:57-58 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Your reputation: Matthew 5:11 – “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Your spending: Matthew 6:19-21 – “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Your hatred: Matthew 5:43-47 – 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
Your honour: Mark 10:42-45 – 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Your autonomy: John 14:23-24 – 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
Your preeminence: Philippians 2:3-4 – 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your independence: 1 Peter 2:13-15 – 13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.