My friend Pastor Chris DeGreen, is committed and devoted to putting out a morsel of soul filling food for thought each morning. That inspires me! Sometimes his messages are personal stories…sometimes they are thoughts based on scripture. Today he posed an interesting question. In his “Day of Praise” devotional today, Pastor DeGreen writes:
“Son, your sins are forgiven.” – Mark 2:5
Is there any sweeter sound than the words “I forgive you”? Especially when, as in today’s Bible verse, Jesus the Son of God is speaking those words to us, is there any sweeter sound than “I forgive you”?
Okay, let’s have some good, clean fun.
Y’all push “reply” and send me your one nomination for the sweetest phrase that the human heart can hear. I’m guessing that “I love you” and “Thank you” will be up there, but let’s see. I’ll compile your responses and send out the list on Wednesday.
For those of you who read Day of Praise on the internet, please send your suggestions to me (*if you want to play this game, you can reply to me and I will get your answers to him!)
And while we’re thinking about and sending in your sweetest phrase, don’t forget to speak some of that sweetness today to the people around you.
“Son, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5).
Don’t you love how short and sweet that is? …and how it makes you think. I will tell you what my reply back to him was – but first I must say that I agree “I forgive you”, “Thank you”, and “I love you” are at the top for sure. But my responses were, “Sweetdreams” and “I love your face.”
When I was a little girl, for my whole life and even now when I go back to spend time with my parents, my bedtime routine with them is to say, “Goodnight, sweetdreams, and I love you.” And my parents say to me, “goodnight, sweetdreams and I love you too.” Now I have children of my own and one of my daughters has adopted that same routine. She or I one will say, “Goodnight, sweetdreams and I love you.” And the other will respond in kind. My other children have their own bedtime routines that are also sweet and special, but going to bed knowing that you are loved and that someone wishes for you “sweetdreams” is a very pleasant way to end a day. What can be better than to lay down your head at night with those last words in your ear…”Goodnight. Sweetdreams…and I love you.”
I broke the rules… Pastor DeGreen asked for just one sweet phrase… but rebel that I am 🙂 I gave him two!
My second response was “I love your face.” My husband says this…to me and to our daughters…very likely to our sons. It isn’t a critique on the quality of our features. It is an acknowledgement that he sees us…not just the flesh but the spirit too. How many people in this life do you feel really see you…not your hair or makeup or clothes or wrinkles…but YOU? How many people let themselves be seen by you? Do you want to see them? Have you slowed down enough to try? In the book I am reading 14 Secrets to Better Relationships Dr. Larry Crabb is quoted saying, “When two people connect…something is poured out of one and into the other that has the power to heal the soul of its deepest wounds and restore it to health.” Another quote from Chuck Colson states, “No Christian can grow strong and stand the pressure of this life unless he is surrounded by a small group of people who minister to him and build him up in the faith.”
No matter how “on fire” for the Lord we start out being, this world is going to constantly try to douse that flame. The only way to prevent losing our light that was meant to shine brightly to light our way and the way for others is to stay near to the source of that heat and to surround ourselves with others who are trying to stay hot and lit and seen. I don’t want to “be seen” for my own glory, but so that others will see and come to know Jesus through me.
When my husband says he loves me face I think it is because he sees this light…God’s light shining in me.
Acts 13:47 “For this is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth’.”
2 Corinthians 4:6 “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” The darkness of sin is dispelled by the light of the gospel…the light of the knowledge of the glory of God shines through all followers of Christ! We are to be the face of Jesus for this world! So smile! What an honor!!!!
A warning…and advice how to prevent misery from 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
And lastly, a reminder from Ecclesiastes 4: 7-12… Relationships are not just important, they are necessary to live. Babies deprived of love and care do not thrive…and can actually die. It is the same for us. If you are lonely, please reach out. If you see someone who is lonely, please gather them in.
“Again I saw something meaningless under the sun: There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless— a miserable business!
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” A cord of three strands means you, me and God. all relationships where God is woven through and around will be a tie that has the strength to bind forever and ever.
I love your face. It isn’t because you are pretty by the standards of the world, but because you are God’s child…made in His image and therefore you are beyond lovely… you are beautiful. You have a light. Let it shine.
“The eyes are the window of the soul.” English Proverb