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Monday, May 29, 2017 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
Rough Edges

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Read Matthew 13:25-40

These six [things] doth the LORD hate: yea, seven [are] an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness [that] speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren (Prov.6:16-19).

We often compare the process of God's work in our lives as one of smoothing off the rough edges. The sinful nature and selfish characteristics that once defined who we were are no longer desirable, and if they are to remain they will hinder God's desired outcome of who we are to be in Him. The rough edges are the thorns that distract us from God's purpose, they are the eyesores that keep others from seeing the nature of Christ within us, and they are the calluses that prevent us from being sensitive to the movement of the Spirit of the living God.
We indeed are less than perfect and praise God, He's not done with us yet. But God forbid that rather than have a few rough edges that we would instead become the rough edges. God forbid that we would actually become so callused and desensitized to God's purpose that we would seem to be and eyesore and something that most would desire to see removed. And that not because we are not perfect, but because we would allow ourselves to be the kind of people who bring strife instead of encouragement and turmoil rather than aid. For within a church body there are many who need encouraged and there are those who are encouragers. But to our sorrow there are also those who are the rough edges, who have become nothing more than hard spots in the body of Christ, who distract from the purposes of God and prevent the body from being sensitive to the movement of the Spirit.
What would we say of such people? Is it God's intention that we suffer them a little while longer? That we just put up with them because, "That's just how they are," or "They'll never change so we will just have to bear with them" until. . .until when? Until they pass on? Then what is to be said of the people who take their place--the one's less noticeable until the other is gone? We would not take a non-confrontational stance with regard to having cancer--would we? Trying to ignore a cancer until it someday goes away is seldom a wise choice. A person who has cancer realizes that he must acknowledge it and take steps to get rid of it. But let their be a cancer in the body of Christ and we fold our hands and mumble under our breath--waiting for the matter to resolve itself.
Where would we find ourselves in that mix? Are we the rough edges that need to be removed so that the body of Christ might flourish? Do we argue and fight to get our way in the decisions of the church with little concern for God's direction? Are we a compass to God's direction or a distraction from His purpose?
If we are not the rough edges, are we those who would sit by and hope it will all resolve itself? We sit by and wait for the sore-spots to heal, leave or eventually die, and keep our mouths shut the whole time with exception to grumbling behind the backs of others?
Or are we those who refuse to allow the church of the living God to become callused and desensitized to our culture and the sin of a lost and darkened world? We refuse to let the church become a passive audience to the self-destructive behaviors of our world today. We do not let the calluses thicken because we dig beneath them until we strike a nerve, shaking church members out of comfortable complacency.
Where is it that you see yourself? How will you deal with rough edges? God has a perfect way to deal with the rough edges in our personal lives and in the body of the church, let's not pretend the rough edges don't exist, but instead, give them up to God for His loving hand to smooth all that is rough.

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