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Following Jesus

“And great multitudes followed him;
and he healed them there.”
Matthew 19:1-2

The bounties of His grace are known to those who draw near to Him. Along the “path of righteousness,” there is healing for all who follow Him. In Christ, there are many aspects of healing, but the most essential ones are the issues of our hearts.

By birth we are broken and have propensities that, left to themselves, unattended by the grace of God, will bring sorrow to ourselves and to those around us. Bitterness, unforgiveness, jealousy, and envy weave their toxins into the very DNA of our being. The experiences of life etch their own furrows into our landscape compounding the internal flaws within. Bitter wounds of past friendships and relationships leave lasting impressions which go much deeper than we are aware. Facades of our own making (often unknowingly) shape the lens through which we view life. We keep our true self hidden behind protective walls creating lives lacking in authenticity.

The love of the Shepherd enables us to begin to face the hurt, the masks, and the lies of our own making. It is here that the forgiveness we so desperately need becomes ours as we forgive others. The mercy of God grows within us as we learn to give it unto others…

“Blessed are the merciful
for they shall receive mercy”
Matthew 5:7

He calls us to participate in the very salvation He brings:

“…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure”.
Philippians 2:12-13

It is in the giving of His graces that we receive more. In working through our need for forgiveness we become forgiving. Letting go and extending mercy to those who have been the cause of our own deep hurts allows us to become thankful for the mercies HE has shown us. This journey into His healing power is essential in our own lives. If we refuse to forgive, we will remain undeveloped, and our internal bitterness will remain evident the rest of our lives. Hear the heartbeat of the Holy Spirit:

“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings…”
1 Peter 2:1

Why?

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby”
1 Peter 2:2

We grow by laying aside the malice, the guile, the hypocrisy of speaking truth without doing the truth, and all envy and evil associated with these vices. Authenticity is the purpose and verity of the salvation He seeks to work within. The healing comes to us as we participate in following Him. The depths of His salvation will be proportional to our involvement in His Life and truth.

The invitation of Jesus is to all. In His wonder, we become free to BE all that we are created to BE in Him.

“Come to Me, all you laboring and burdened ones,
and I will give you rest”
Matthew 11:28

Brian Troxel

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