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Forgiveness

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Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. (I Peter 3:8-11, English Standard Version) While reading the Bible this morning, I think I discovered…

“They continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!’ Then he fell to his knees and cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them!’ When he had said this, he died.” (Acts 7:59-60, New English Translation) Acts 6 and 7 introduce us to two notable New Testament men: Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and Saul, who passionately persecuted the young church. Under different circumstance, the two may have become good friends. Both were Greek-speaking Jews born elsewhere but now living in Jerusalem. Both were passionate about their faith. Perhaps they…

Love. What do you think of when you hear that word? What’s your reaction?  How do you feel when you say it, or when it’s said to you? It’s a popular word in our culture.  You might hear it used in ways like: “I love that dress!” or “Oh, I love lasagna.”  You might even catch yourself saying it to describe something you enjoy. I wonder if it has reached the point where we could say it’s so overused that it has lost its true meaning.  Is the context now downplayed and dismissed to a simple feeling of joy or…