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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Letting Go of the Baggage

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:31-32

We live in a fallen world where it is easy to get caught up with the hurts that we face from day to day. They could be words that were said harshly, or perhaps with a certain tone. Perhaps we pray about it and give our hurts and burdens to the Lord, only to find that we take it back again. It becomes an extra piece of baggage that we carry along with us. One travel bag isn't very heavy. But perhaps as we go about our days, we experience another hurt, or time when someone said something unkind about us. We pick up a small suitcase this time. As the days, weeks, months, years advance, our bags may become so many, and so heavy that we can barely carry them. That's why we need to bring these things to the Lord - continually until we can completely give him each bag and suitcase and allow Him to carry them, and not take them back.

It reminds me of the words of Darrell Evan's song, 'Trading My Sorrows.'

I'm trading my sorrow
I'm trading my shame
I'm laying it down for the joy of the Lord

I'm trading my sickness
I'm trading my pain
I'm laying it down for the joy of the Lord

I'm pressed but not crushed persecuted not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I'm blessed beyond the curse for his promise will endure
And his joy's gonna be my strength

Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning

Interestingly enough, these words in Ephesians 4 are followed by these: "Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God." (Ephesians 5:1-2) In order to imitate God, we need to be willing to first let go of the baggage. 

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