Gracious Father, I humbly come before your throne of grace, first and always to say thank you. I just thank you for who you are, and the standard that you set for your children. I thank you for your covering. I thank you for your instructions. I thank you for the opportunity to get it right. Oh God, and I thank you for Jesus. Father, there are those out there who are in bondage by way of their own thoughts. I pray Father that you release them from it, so that they can come to you without shame. I pray that you instill in them the courage to accept change, and the desire to receive deliverance. Oh Father I just pray that you intrude on our lives and help us to clean up our mess. We are unable to do it on our own, and seek your guidance Father. I pray Father that you teach us how to die daily, and how to communicate with you better. And Father, I pray that you forgive us of any sins committed whether in thought or deed. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
About 15 years ago, a former friend of mine met this girl that he could not stay away from. His name was Ephraim. She was very pleasing to the eye, but there was just something about her character that did not sit well with me. Ephraim was not that good looking, and according to the standards we adhered to back then, he was a good dude. Another former friend of ours named Sefton, was better looking. He had some funny ways about him, but overall he was also a good dude. This was a time where the streets were our focus. Recreation, compensation, justice, etc, was bestowed by the streets. There were settings that I believe were not appropriate for females, yet Ephraim would bring this girl around. Her eyes wondered too much for my taste, and when she spoke to you, she was touchy-feely. To make sure there was no misunderstanding, I had a word with her. I never had an encounter with her again. In fact, she did not like me too much after that. Oh well, she can go to …….never mind. Anyway, as time went on, I noticed that she was a bit friendlier than usual with Sefton. Then there was a period about two weeks where I did not see Ephraim, Sefton, or this girl. I thought nothing of it, and then I received a call from the fellas that Ephraim wanted a word with me. This was unusual, but decided to accommodate the meeting. When I went to the location Ephraim was with the girl, and she did not look happy. She had some bruise on her cheek that clearly was healing. I remember saying to myself “good job Ephraim.” Surely you will not hold this against me right family? Anyway, it was not Ephraim who did it. It was allegedly done by Sefton. Sefton tried to make advances on the girl, she refused, and he hit her. This is according to her story. Ephraim wanted to tell me to my face what his plan was regarding Sefton. Of course I told him that was unacceptable, which he answered “watch me.” Oh what honor he had (being facetious).
Family, the whole story need to be told for you to get the picture so bear with me. I was able to get a hold of Sefton, and he told me the story. Apparently Sefton knew this girl from a past acquaintance he used to deal with. He knew what type of girl she was but could not muster up the courage to tell Ephraim. At some point this girl tried to come on to him, and he refused. Things got physical, she hit him, and out of reflex he hit her back. Because of my initial feelings about her, I was inclined to believe him. I told him to lay low while I squared things away with Ephraim. Too late! Ephraim caught up with him and gave him a severe beaten. He was in the hospital for days. Ephraim spread the lie that this girl told him to the streets, and the streets accepted the justice that was handed down. The only reason why he did not take Sefton’s life was because the girl supposedly stopped him. Oh, how decent of her (being facetious again). Family trust me when I tell you, the truth always comes out. Not too long after, this girl found another man who was…… em-em (cough)…. generous. Ephraim took that well. What he did not take well, was when word got back that she has done this before a few times. All he could say to me was how he was really about to kill Sefton. He never was the same after that. He could not face Sefton, and surprisingly, Sefton did not hold it against him. Ephraim left the pack, got with some other dudes, made some bad decisions, got reckless, and his life was cut short.
How does this tie in? Jesus was wrongfully accused and because of it, he was beaten terribly. He was forced to carry a heavy wooden cross that upon destination, he would be nailed to it. Each time we engage in an act we know is inappropriate, we are virtually siding with the Pharisees and religious order that denied Jesus’ deity. We are denying that Jesus came to set us free. We are denying that He is the son of God. We are virtually accepting that lie that sent him to the cross. Sefton just wanted his friend back, but Ephraim could not go to him. He was so ashamed in what he did, and what he spread, that he enslaved himself to it, instead of taking the opportunity to release himself. We can be that way also. The bible states “Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.” (Isa 1:18) The Lord is calling us, but because we know what we have done, because we know He is watching, we feel ashamed to go before Him. We feel that our wrong is so great, that He could not possibly accept us. Oh how the devil is a liar! God wants to have a talk with you. He wants to tell you that He will accept you just the way you are. He wants to cleanse you from the mess you have been wallowing in. He wants to have a deep relationship with you. It does not matter what you have done. He just wants you to come to Him, and forsake your old way of living, and He will not remember your trespasses. You just have to grab His hand that He is extending to you. You should be saying Amen right now! Oh Hallelujah!!! Where would I have been if I did not grab His hand? Where will you be if you do not grab His hand?
Ephraim could not go to Sefton because he attempted to put himself in Sefton’s shoes. He felt if it was him, he would not accept him. This is what we also do. We put ourselves in God’s place. We try to think for God. We would not accept ourselves and we assume God will do the same. No family, His thoughts are not like ours (Isa 55:8). If you repent of your ways and confess your transgressions, He will remember them no more. He said “let us reason together” I love talking to God. He is calling you too. Go to Him. Amen!