Matthew 16:21-23 NET “From that time on Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. So Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him: “God forbid, Lord! This must not happen to you!” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, because you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but on man’s.””
Jesus’ reaction to Peter rebuking Him shows who is sometimes behind our words and thoughts. The Devil can literally speak through us though our intentions be good and we wouldn’t even know it. Peter thought he was doing the right thing yet Satan was talking right through Him. So much for, “The Devil has no power.”🤔This behooves us to ask, “How many times has Satan spoken through me and I didn’t know it?”🤔
Considering this it makes more sense why Jesus says to forgive one another. WE ALL sometimes do and say things we’re not aware of. The evil one plants thoughts in our minds that we sometimes act on thinking it’s God’s will just like Peter did.
THE HEART IS DECEITFUL
Jeremiah 17:9-10 KJV “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”
God says our hearts are so deceitful that we can’t know just how wicked it is.😳 Only He knows the human heart and can judge it perfectly. If you and I are aware of this fact; that many things we feel deeply about are sometimes not right or true or in our best interest, we are ahead of the game.😊 The Bible says our own hearts; our deepest thoughts, feelings, and emotions betray us. “The heart is deceitful ABOVE ALL THINGS,” God says. How we view ourselves, how we view others can all be a figment of our imaginations. Our hearts pretend to always know what’s going on but it doesn’t. Often we misjudge people and situations. This is why we cannot trust our hearts. Our own feelings betray us. What a battle we have within ourselves!😞
Proverbs 28:26 KJV “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”
THERE IS HOPE
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 KJV “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
If we study God’s word (not just read it but study it), and we are a person of prayer, God will show us our hearts. He will show us when our thoughts are pleasing to Him and when they are not. Once we see that our feelings and imaginations do not line up with God’s word The Holy Spirit helps us cast them down (reject)! As we do this throughout our walk with God Satan cannot build new strongholds in our minds, and we destroy and tear down old ones. We bring our own thoughts and feelings into captivity making them obedient to Christ.
If Jesus asked the Father to forgive people who were killing Him and torturing Him while making fun of Him, shouldn’t we be able to forgive our brethren?😊
WHY MANY ARE FALLING AWAY
One of the reasons why so many are turning away from the faith in these last days is because of what we are talking about. (Matthew 24:10) Many are listening to their hearts; their feelings and emotions, above the word of God. How dangerous because as we’ve learned Satan can make us feel things too.🤔 Many are not willing to take their thoughts into captivity and make them obedient to Christ. They are not willing to crucify the flesh and deny themselves as Jesus says we must do (Luke 9:23). Schisms; divisions in the church, are the result.
Proverbs 19:11 KJV “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.”
This one verse we just read if followed solves a whole lot of problems.😊 As we’ve established sometimes folks do and say things they’re not even aware of like Peter did when he rebuked Jesus. Though Jesus corrected Peter he also forgave Him. That’s what we should do instead of letting feelings of anger rule us. To pass over transgression means to cover it. Imagine placing a cover over something, you can’t see it anymore. If we do that with each other’s sins, faults, annoyances, etcetera, what a healthy church we will have.😊 The person who does this obeys God and has self-control. Remember, our own hearts are the most deceitful thing God says. Our feelings often betray us. It makes more sense to simply forgive people in light of this.😊
And lastly, while Jesus was being tortured on a cross he said a prayer for his persecutors:
Luke 23:34 KJV “Then said Jesus, Father, FORGIVE THEM; for they know not what they do.”
Is this not proof of everything we’ve been talking about? People can sometimes do hideous things without even knowing it? If Jesus asked the Father to forgive people who were killing Him and torturing Him while making fun of Him, shouldn’t we be able to forgive our brethren?😊
Colossians 3:13-14 NIV “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Obeying God’s command to forgive destroys the deceitful heart. Jesus is indeed all powerful. He is the King Of Kings And Lord Of Lords.😊
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