Bury the Dead

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Could you cast away a forest? After living in California, I know how forests are destroyed. It’s very scary! Fire has destroyed much of California’s forests. It destroyed the city of Paradise. My heart breaks at the destruction and the loss. The question still stands. Could you cast away a forest? The answer is, “yes,” but it doesn’t have to be by fire. If someone gave you a bag of seeds to grow a forest, you could get rid of the seeds. You don’t have to plant them. No fire. No danger. No loss.

So then, what about the seeds of death in our lives? Do we have the power to destroy them before they destroy us? What if we could bury things that bring death, physically and spiritually? What if we would resist the temptation of unforgiveness before it becomes bitterness? or lust before it becomes adultery or fornication? or worry before it becomes fear or anxiety? or anger before it becomes malice? The longer we entertain temptation, the harder it is to defeat sin, and sin out of control in our lives is death.

Life that dwells on unforgiveness, lust, or worry reaps a whirlwind of consequences: illness, pain and suffering. Scripture supports this truth: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). “All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast” (Proverbs 15:15). “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up” (Proverbs 12:25). “I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly–my mind still guiding me with wisdom” (Ecclesiastes 2:3).


Our Lord Jesus knows about temptation. “He had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:17).

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).


Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus. Please send your Spirit on us in the issues of our lives: shame, despair, anxiety or loneliness, and keep us from temptation into sin. Empower us with your word to stand tall with the truth and with your compassion and your love. Help us to become the people you created us to be. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Jesus and Anger

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Anger has been a human problem since Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:8). It is more intense during the COVID-19 isolation whether at home or in the workplace. People yell at each other about wearing a mask or walking the wrong way in the store. Road rage is the worst and causes many unnecessary accidents. Have you wondered what Jesus said about anger? His guidelines are more rigid than you might think.

Jesus said, “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell” (Matthew 5:21-22 NLT).

Did you connect anger with murder? Yes, uncontrolled anger leads to unforgiveness, bitterness, malice and murder. That’s why Jesus’ teaching is so strong. Paul said, “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26 NIV).

Jesus said to settle matters with our adversaries quickly: “When you remember that a person has something against you, go and be reconciled. Even if you are at the altar giving your offering, leave your gift and go to the person. When you’ve made peace, come back and give your offering” (Matthew 5:23-24 my paraphrase).


Jesus said something else that helps with anger: “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you” (Matthew 7:12 NLT) That means if someone makes a mistake and causes us to be upset, we should remember that we also make mistakes, and we should be kind. Jesus also said, “Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44 NLT). It is impossible to stay angry with anyone you pray for.


Father God, please help me with my anger. It wants to take control of me, and I can’t fight the feelings alone. I need your power working in me. Change my heart and make me more compassionate. In Jesus’ name, Amen.