#116

                                                                                    (Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks) 

                               (Note:  #116 is an expansion of same subject discussed in lesson #115.  Please read #115 if necessary.) 

Please read Mark 12:28-31.  To love is to give self and bring near to oneself.  We love our self by giving our exposed flesh to God which, in turn, brings Him near to us.  Our flesh is exposed to give us an opportunity to love our self.  If we give our sins and failures to the LORD, He will draw near to us and provide redemption.  The tendency is to conceal our sin or blame others for its exposure.  By doing this we aren't fulfilling one of the two greatest commandments:  love thyself!  In addition, by blaming and concealing, we forfeit the opportunity to bring God near with His acts of redemption.  

Please read Psalm 37:1,7-8.  Fret means burn, blaze, kindle.  By not giving our exposed sin to the LORD we fret, burn and blaze in our unconfessed state and sinful drama.  The human heart can think of a multitude of reasons not to confess sin; pride being among the first.  When confession is not made after exposure, we "stew in our own juices" so to speak, and eventually begin to hate.  Hate will lead to murder which the human tongue is quite familiar with.  Slaying someone physically is remotely possible, but the human tongue routinely kills and murders others' reputations with its words.  

Please read I John 1:7-10.  The LORD manifested His love by giving us His Son.  He GAVE of Himself to draw us NEAR to Himself:  this is the definition of love.  He gave us His Son in the form of the Mosaic Tabernacle with seven pieces of furniture so we could love self and love God!  The SELF is our ticket to love God!!  We can climb His Stature and draw near to the Heavenly Father.  

Please read Genesis 4:1-6.  This is the story of two brothers, Cain and Abel.  In verse 5 we see the word "wroth".  This is the same word as "fret" in Psalm 37 (#2734 in Strongs Concordance).  Cain burned and blazed in his hatred for his brother Abel.  Abel was the father of the seeds of mercy and Cain was the father of the seeds of wrath.  While Cain was fretting and kindling in his hatred, see what happened?  It was an opportunity for the LORD to come down and have a conversation with Cain.  God talked to Cain, not Abel.  When we fret, God will initiate a dialogue with us and try to reason with our burning heart!  Fret leads to hate and progresses to murder if not confessed.  The end of the story is that Abel was murdered because of the fretting of Cain's heart.  

We know the story of Jonah.  In Jonah 4:4 the LORD initiates a conversation with him by saying, "Doest thou well to be angry?"  This word "angry" is the same word for "fret".  While Jonah was fretting over the repentance and redemption of Ninevah, this invited the LORD to talk with him.  God simply asked Jonah (and Cain) a question.  Questions pull from the inside out and gives the respondant an opportunity to confess what has been exposed.  In the midst of Jonah's fretting, the LORD proved He still loved him by starting a conversation with him.  This whole episode with Ninevah was for the purpose of allowing Jonah to love self and love God.  There is a higher purpose, an ethereal force, a guiding love that is above all personal events and circumstances.  The Love of God entreats us to give our self so He can draw near and provide the remedy and relief of our malady:  indwelling sin!