This week I’ve been talking about my new Word of the Year — “Cast,” and this word has already had a huge impact on me.  I’m drawn back to yet another recent devotion from Beth Moore.  See if you can spot what the word “cast” has to do with this particular devotion.  She was writing about Revelation 2:1-7:

You also possess endurance and have tolerated many things because of My name…But I have this against you:  you have abandoned the love you had at first (v. 3-4).

I am astonished to find that the original word for “forsaken” [abandoned] is the same word often translated “forgive” in the New Testament.  The word afiemi means “to send forth, send away, let go from oneself.”  The New Testament uses aphiemi in many contexts and simply means giving up or letting go of something, such as in the familiar words of Matthew 6:12 (KJV):  “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

…The thought occurs to me how often we forsake our first love–our indescribably glorious sacred romance–because we refuse to forsake our grudges and grievances.  Please allow me to say this with as much compassion as one who has been there:  We cannot hang on to our sacred romance with Jesus Christ and also our bitterness.  We will release one to hang on to the other.

The room unforgiveness is taking up in your life is cheating you of the very thing you were born (again) to experience.  Send it forth!  Not into oblivion, but into the hands of the faithful and sovereign Judge of the earth.  –Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, pg. 478

Did you hear it?  Cast it away, send it forth, let go, forgive, abandon it, forsake, but don’t forsake your first love for the Lord Himself!  So this year I will be thinking about things I should cast away from life and about things I should cast upon the Lord’s shoulders.  And I’ll be thinking of things I should never cast away.  Please let me know if you’re following a certain word throughout 2017; I would love to hear from you!


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