Good afternoon! Today is April 13, 2012. I'm including the date as I'm actually writing My Book Report and saving them as I read a chapter. Yesterday I posted CHAPTER 1 and today I posted CHAPTER 2. You may actually read this chapter's book report, being on chapter 8 "Silencing the Voice of the Accuser" sometime next week or the following week, so I intentionally want you to know how I am going about this book report of mine. As I mentioned in chapter 1, I was given the great suggestion to blog about Joel Osteen's book Every Day A Friday by a friend and brother of mine Jeff Zelaya. My thinking as I read and write about this book is this: Save the chapters you read as drafts then you can catch up on other reads that peak your interest yet keeping your posts on the book reports fresh. Good thinking, right?!
Okay, this chapter had me thinking and reflecting, and being grateful to God for all He is and does for me, for you, for all of us a lot! Right off the back Joel shares a story of a young boy who in his innocence and ignorance, does something that caused him great anguish within himself and to cover it up, he is forced to become a slave to his sister. He killed a duck with his sling shot. The young boy does all her chores because she witnessed what he did, and in order for her silence to remain, he needed to do what she did. This young boy's sister was the accuser in the story. She would come to her brother and whisper to him, "remember the duck." A couple of days went by like this, and finally the boy couldn't take it any longer. He broke down. showed remorse for the wrong he did. He confessed to his grandma and asked to be forgiven. Amazingly, his grandma said that she saw everything that happened through the kitchen window. She saw him pull the sling shot back. She saw him aim. She saw the rock hit its target dead on. She saw the duck die. She saw how shocked he was for what he did. She saw him bury the duck. She even saw that his sister witnessed it as well. All she was waiting for, was for him to grow tired of being his sister's slave. This young boy's grandma said she already had forgiven him and with a loving hug she embraced him tightly. The amazing point of this story, is this. Although wrong doing brings shock and at times causes us to hide the truth and be filled with guilt, our remorse for what we do, leads to confession and the love through forgiveness we experience actually sets us FREE.
Chapter eight can be a weapon if utilized well to break down those walls of guilt the Accuser builds up against us. The whole chapter is on guilt. The chapter shares how guilt builds up in us and reminds us of the tools we are given in Jesus Christ to break free from a guilt-filled life. Joel Osteen says these words towards guilt, "Guilt puts you on a treadmill; you're constantly working and struggling and sweating, but you don't move forward." This quote certainly speaks to me about something I have struggled with and constantly look to God for the strength to break free from such thoughts- Being active yet not productive. Activity is a treadmill. You're doing things but it takes you nowhere. Productivity always leads to a different destination. You are able to see sights, sounds, gain experience, meet new people and most importantly build strong lasting relationships. I wonder many times if I'm being a treadmill worker, or a destination traveler. How about you?
Truth be told, I have often heard the Accuser say to me, 'everything you write doesn't matter. It's wasted time. No one cares. You have nothing to offer. It will go nowhere. You think God is doing something with it, but He isn't!' In effect, those words are just like the sister's words to her brother, "remember the duck." They too, have made me at times a slave. But thanks be to God! For such friendly reminders on how to respond to the Accuser, such as this. "No thanks. I'm not going there. If God doesn't condemn me, I'm not condemning myself!" Amen.
Wow! In rereading what God placed into my heart to write above, I'm blown away by the love and willingness God displays in our lives and the many resources He presents in our lives through writers, speakers, teachers, pastors, etc... to reach out and say that He is here and that He has already forgiven us. God is good. Amen. Okay, this will be the eighth report on Joel Osteen's Every Day A Friday. I have said it before, and I'll say it again. I definitely recommend this book. It's my prayer and hope that my words; my time invested here, will result in all of you seeking out the resource I am recommending and greater than that, seek out God through confession for forgiveness if you too, have felt the imprisonment of guilt by the Accuser. God is love. Won't you experience that FORGIVING LOVE AND EMBRACE?
My Take Away:
There will always be a voice accusing you of what you did wrong. What you failed at. But, as the Word of God declares so triumphantly to all believers in Jesus everywhere, "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1 NIV) let us all take those words in, and with conviction tell the Accuser, your words aren't stopping me from experiencing my God Potential, and certainly will not take my faith in God away. GET BEHIND ME SATAN!
Here are words of encouragement I gave myself, and I pass on to you. "Flavio, your guilt is left behind when your willingness to acknowledge yourself as a child of God is greater than the Accuser's willingness to harass you. Through God's grace you will rise higher, high above the Accuser where he can no longer harm you. Amen."