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Following The Father’s Voice

Leaves1As we enjoy the colors of fall, in the midst of a season of thanksgiving, this seemed like a good thought for today…

Jesus’ challenge to us  – His calling – is to “follow on”.

What an exciting call!

Jesus acknowledges us as joint heirs with Him, saying literally, “What is Mine is yours.” And the Holy Spirit wants to guide you into the treasure chest of what God has for you.

We have, for too long, kept our hands behind our backs, Leaves3afraid to plunge them into the fruit basket of the Spirit, not opening up the presents God has for us. There is so much to experience – so much to see. Jesus cries, “Follow on!”

A simple, yet potentially double-edged Ashanti proverb begins Javaka Steptoe’s picture book entitled In Daddy’s Arms, I Am Tall, a powerful collection of poems celebrating African American fathers. The proverb reads…

When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him.

Leaves2In Jesus’ arms, I don’t have to worry about the future! The future is in the hands of my Father. He will whisper in my ear, and He will say, “This is what I am going to do if you trust me and step out in faith. My gifts are here to help you live in peace and joy.”

— from the book, Kisses from the Father
by Ron Phillips

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An Indelible Mark

Through the Looking GlassIn May of 1981, Turkish assassin Mehmet Ali Ağca shot Pope John Paul II multiple times, nearly killing him. On December 27, 1983, in a move that stunned the world, Pope John Paul visited his would-be assassin in prison… and forgave him.

In speaking of the event and Ağca, the Pontiff asked people to “pray for my brother, whom I have sincerely forgiven.” It is said that the two men became friends, with the Pope even reaching out to members of Ağca’s family. Upon the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005, Ağca’s brother issued a statement saying that their family was in mourning, as the Pope had been a great friend to them.

Although the Pope bore the physical scars from that event in his body for the rest of his life, the indelible mark that really mattered was the one left in Mehmet Ali Ağca’s heart, as well as the hearts of those close to him… the mark of forgiveness.

Jesus bore the marks of your sin and shame when He paid your debt on the cross. However, He announced His true intention and left an indelible mark on every heart that would look to Him – from the Roman guards who oversaw His crucifixion, down through history to you and me – when He said, “Father… forgive them”.

Is there someone in your life in need of your forgiveness? Is their someone who has wronged you that needs to hear the words, “You are forgiven”?

After all, forgiveness is not about justice — forgiveness is about freedom.

Yours.

Leave that “indelible mark” on someone today.