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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Aggravation

Aggravation is sin. It is set off by a spiritual problem that is endemic throughout the whole world. Everyone has it; even religious people; even devout, pious people; even many Christians. Everyone is cut off from the full grace and love from God. The reuniting of God and man will not come until Christ's second coming. Yet, there are many who have the grace and love of their parents, and they seem the most suitable to enjoy life. But, even they fail of the full strength and joy from the Creator that alone overcomes irritability and aggression.

The only ones who have the full happiness and strength in this world are those who have a connection with God through the Spirit of Christ. “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1Jn. 5:12). “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36).

Without the help that Jesus’ love gives us, aggravation swoops in. Everything easily aggravates the person who is not loved with an everlasting love, a continuous flow of love. The love that God offers us is not an up and down, once-in-a-while, only-when-we-behave love. It’s not a when-I-feel-like-giving-it love. Divine love, almighty love, is constant and strong. “Charity suffereth long” and then still “is kind” (1Cor. 13:4). But, man’s love, without the love of God driving it, is just that; it’s so temporary.

“The voice said, Cry. And He said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth:… The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isa. 40:6-8). God promises that He loves us; and His word is everlasting.

Man’s faulty character can give no grace and therefore only the minimum of love. Only the Creator can give perpetually sustainable love. Beside the fact that we are only creatures and not the Creator, we are also ruined by sin. And sin is selfishness. Our love is far from the perfect, disinterested love of our Father in heaven. That’s why the curse is pronounced upon us.

“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.” (Jer. 17:5, 6).

In a world thickly blanketed with sin, we are bound for disappointment and frustration and depression. Our souls are dried up and have no resource for peace. Aggravation is the result.

Therefore, aggravation is the way of life in this world. It is a world-wide problem. It is selfishness responding to the selfishness it experiences all around it. Aggravation cries out, “I deserve better.” It says, “You aren’t treating me like the King or Queen that I am.” And, it even says the same to inanimate objects, too. How many of us have gotten mad at a machine that wouldn’t work, or some object that wouldn’t budge, or a tool that wouldn’t do its job?

And everyone pays for aggravation. Aggravation is what fuels high prices. Just as capitalism makes money go around, so does aggravation. The carpenter must endure the elements, the cold and rain and mud and hot summer sun. The office worker has to endure the tedious, road-rage creating, hours-long rush hours each and every morning and evening, and sometimes lunchtime. The mechanic has to endure the greasy engines, the breaking bolts, the knuckle busting, the contorted positions in order to get to that hard to reach component or bolt. “So, if I’m going to have to suffer in all of that, my salary better be high, even if you have to take it out on your customers.”

Is it my fault I get aggravated? Yes, and no.

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing.” (Rom. 7:18).
“I am carnal, sold under sin.” (Rom. 7:14).
 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Rom. 5:12).

It’s Adam’s fault we get aggravated! Yes, that’s partly true. Do we have no blame for our actions? No, we are also to blame. No one has to remain in their body of death. Jesus will deliver us from it.
As it is written, from Romans 7:24, 25, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? … Jesus Christ our Lord.”

But, if I choose to avoid the Lord Jesus, then I am to blame for my lack of grace and love from God. And, avoiding Jesus is the condition of everyone in the world except a small minority. So, the majority end up trying to cover their bad track record by making the cause for their constant aggravation an external one.
“And the man said, The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” (Gen. 3:12).

 “And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (Gen. 3:13).

We don’t like to think of aggravation as having an internal cause; we prefer the cause to be outside of us; it’s someone else’s fault. It’s the neighbor’s fault or the dog’s fault or the house roof’s fault or the appliance’s fault. It’s my spouse or my kids or the neighbor’s kids. It’s too hard to say, “It’s my fault I sinned by not opening my heart to You and got aggravated. Lord, please who can deliver me from this body of death?”

It’s not my-laptop’s-fingerpad-causing-my-cursor-to-keep-flying-off-the-page that I’m aggravated. It’s not the broken washing machine’s fault that I’m angry; it’s my fault because I won’t go to Jesus and get His grace and love. It’s not the pet’s fault that I’m angry because he sheds hair all over my house and I have to keep vacuuming everything; it’s my fault that I’m angry. It’s not the atheist’s blind force’s fault or the Christian’s God’s fault that the wind blew my tree over onto my house and now I’m having to pay a high insurance deductible to fix the roof, that I am angry. My anger is my own fault. It’s not my-uncle’s-wife’s-boss’s-President’s of the United States-daughter’s-boyfriend’s-cranked-up-1,000-watt-woofer’s-vibrating-his trunk’s-fault that I am angry; I’m angry because I have a problem. The real problem is an internal one. The problem is mine. But, will I admit to it?

Aggravation comes from selfishness and self-centeredness, both of which descend from lacking the eternal grace and love that children enjoy from their Parents in the heavens. It is indignation mixed with selfish impatience. Aggravation is part of the big sin problem. For sinners aggravation and selfish anger are unavoidable. And everyone is a sinner. Even the best of us are capable of the worst. It’s inescapable; we’re rotten to the core. As unable anyone is to stop the world and jump with enough strength to get off, every human soul is stuck in the muck of sin and self-centeredness. We bind sin to us as much as Earth’s gravity binds sinners to it. As much as my dog is a flea magnet, we are sin magnets. We borrow sin if we don’t think we have enough.

God has separated Himself from us. Do we deserve it?

“Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you.” (Isa. 59:2). We deserve our separation from God. He is holy; we are unholy. He loves to do right; we love to do wrong.
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:…
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Destruction and misery are in their ways:
And the way of peace have they not known:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Rom. 3:10,12-18).

“A … horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so.” (Jer. 5:30,31).

And, our problem is a congenital one.

“Thou wast altogether born in sins.” (John 9:34). “Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.… I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” (Rom 7:17,18,23).

We are “by nature the children of wrath.” (Eph. 2:3). All that being said, this cannot be an excuse to continue in sin.

It’s the alienation from God at the conception of our birth that causes our aggravation. So here is where the problem must lay. But, if God is hidden away, how can we ever hope to have Him again?

“Your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear…. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.” (Isa. 59:2, 10).

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us” (Eph. 2:4) knows of our congenital problem. And He has provided the solution. We would find all of our anger go away if we could return and live in a packet of His restored acceptance and receive His Spirit. We could seek God for His forgiveness. But, where do I look for Him?

He has already put Himself in our way. For He “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: for in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:26-28). “And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you.” (Jer. 29:13,14).

But, you mean we just cry out into the air? That sounds like God is just a figment of my imagination!
No, He is no more imaginary than atoms or cells or microwaves are imaginary because we can’t see them. But, people might say, “Electron microscopes can photograph an atom and a cell, and we have other machines that can detect microwaves. But, there is no machine to detect God.”

Incorrect! There is a machine, but it’s so much more advanced than anything humans can come up with that they don’t see it as a machine. They are so proud of their inventions that they laugh off God’s machines. But, this machine puts the man-made things to shame.

It’s called the human brain, the mind, the conscience. The closest thing to it is the most massive computer, or a robot that can make only the simplest decisions. But, these are laughable compared to minds that our Creator has put into billions of creatures on this planet. This machine can detect the faintest—the very faintest—signals from the Creator.

The steps to God: Need for grace and love. Detection of God. Conviction. Sorrow for hating God through sin. Hope. Faith. Repentance. Conversion. Thankfulness. Joy. A new creature, a new life. The best proof of God and the Bible is the about-face that happens in a person when God has changed them. They prove that there are signals streaming down from above like neutrinos.

Everyone can seek God and find Him. “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matt. 7:8). “Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.” (Isa. 66:9). Even if He’s been “THE UNKNOWN GOD” (Acts 17:23) to us, He doesn’t need to stay that way. We can get to know Him. He doesn’t want to stay unknown. He wants us to know Him.

We don’t have to live in our primordial soup of anger and a dog-eat-dog world. We have Someone who will help us get out of this miasma of sin. He never knew aggravation; He never knew selfish rage; He never knew impatience. He has always loved and worked for our trust and uplifting.

Through all of His life He never knew our “chastisement of … peace” that comes from our exclusion from the Life-giver of love. He was always in the bosom of God. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” (John 1:18).

He was the Prince whose heart was only and ever peaceful. He lived in a packet of His Father’s love without measure. He knew the secret of success for this life. That secret of success is our union with the Source of life and love. “Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into Thy lips: therefore God hath blessed Thee for ever…. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” (Ps. 45:2,7).

He who had life original, unborrowed, underived, received everlasting life through His union with His Father…. until that fateful day when He had to learn exactly what we go through. In order to intercede for us before the great Judge, it wasn’t enough for Him to witness the cause of our chastised peace and aggravation and outbursts of anger. He had to experience the separation from God, the “contradiction of sinners against Himself” (Heb. 12:3) that causes all of our chastisement of peace. “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:…  He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” (Isa. 53:4,5).

His heart and mind must be flogged and every nerve jangled. “Why should [Ye] be stricken any more?... [Your] whole head is sick, and [Your] whole heart faint…. From the sole of [Your] foot even unto [Your] head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” (Isa. 1:5,6). “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief.” (Isa. 53:10). “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin.” (2Cor. 5:21). “When Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.” (Isa. 53:10).

Yet, nothing could tear from Jesus the love for a world of adversarial children. He knew that they didn’t realize why they abused Him so. “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted His raiment, and cast lots.” (Luke 23:33,34). This is the grace that is everlasting. A world of aggravated sinners needs everlasting grace and love, which can only come from Him who is eternal.

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:14-17).

And how did Jesus accomplish all this? By the grace of God, through God’s eternal Spirit.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth…. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will.” (John 5:19-21).

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14).
“We see Jesus, who was made…for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” (Heb. 2:9).

Why did He go through this? For God to prove to the universe that His Son could be the perfect Mediator in every issue of man’s sin. He would be our only help in every captivating sin. God would be glorified through our salvation and reclamation from the kingdom of Satan.

“In all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” (Heb. 2:17). “For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15). “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.” (Isa. 53:10,11). “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2Cor. 5:21).

And He invites us today, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isa. 1:18). “The riches of His forbearance and longsuffering…the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.” (Rom. 2:4).

Because of the depth of pain and sorrow Jesus has endured in order to be our Helper, our Comforter, our Propitiator, our Advocate, our exceeding great Reward, our response should, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” (Isa. 6:5). “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Ps. 51:5). “I have no excuse for my aggravation and grinding teeth. I have no excuse for my outbursts of vile selfish anger. I deserve 1,000 times more chastisement of my peace. I am a sinner, I have sinned, I am vile. And my transgressions have crucified You every second of my life.” “Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest.” (Ps. 51:4). Please, forgive me and take me back. Let me be with You forever.

And His reply will always come back to us with the same warm welcome, “I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” (Heb. 10:16,17). “I AM the true Vine,… Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I AM the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:1,4,5).

“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30).

“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep….
I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”
“To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.” (John 10:11,14,3,4).

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