Early yesterday morning, as I sleepily finished saying the Lord’s Prayer and began to pray for the people who scammed us last week, the first four lines and the shape of today’s poem struck me very forcefully.
From within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you (Mark 7:21-23; NLT).
It’s better to be tricked
Than to trick others.
It’s better to be hated
Than to hate.
It’s better, Lord, to suffer
Than to lie, and cheat, and steal,
But better still to feel ashamed –
Before it’s far too late.
It’s better to be kind
Than to be angry.
It’s better to be patient
Than to rage.
It’s better to be martyred
Than to harm, abuse, or kill,
But best of all is to repent –
For You, alone, can save.
Our God is a God who saves! The Sovereign LORD rescues us from death (Psalm 68:20; NLT).
If your hand – even your stronger hand – causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell (Matthew 5:30; N,T).
Abraham said to him, “Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there” (Luke 16:25-6; NLT).
Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law (Romans 13:10; NLT).
The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-3; NLT).
From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near” (Matthew 4:17; NLT).
Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38; NLT).
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15; NLT).
There is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! (Luke 15:7; NLT).