Tag: Civil War

It’s Time to Cut Down the Trees!

George Whittenby George Whitten

Colossians 3:13-14 Bear with each other, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against anyone: even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love (agape), which is the bond of perfection.

After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited a Kentucky lady who took him to the remains of a once beautiful old tree in front of her house. There she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by Federal artillery fire. She looked to Lee for a word condemning the North or at least sympathizing with her loss. After a brief silence, Lee said, “Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it.”

The enemy is constantly attacking the body of Messiah. Some of his most effective tactics are anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness, which are often based on real, sometimes deep, wounds we have received from others in the faith. Paul wrote that we should not be ignorant of the enemy’s schemes (2 Cor. 2:11), that bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness give him an opportunity to quench the Holy Spirit and destroy our fellowship with God and one another. So the apostle urged forbearance, forgiveness, and above all else, the kind of love which Yeshua (Jesus) showed to us; a love which covered our sins against Him, forgiving and restoring relationship. This is not a love which is natural to us. Our nature is to hold on to offenses, to desire justice, recompense, or even revenge. Do we realize that the love we need to truly forgive is from another Source?

The beautiful old tree in the woman’s front yard might symbolize something very dear, beloved and precious in your life….something which was terribly damaged by an enemy you feel justified to hate.

Whatever is left of that “tree” in your life or in your memory is a constant temptation to nurture hate and unforgiveness. Is this how you want to live? Will this “tree” become a memorial unto hatred and revenge, or hardness of heart and a never-ending cry for “justice”? If so, you will find yourself bound to that tree, as if you were chained to it. General Lee’s words apply here: “Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it.” “Vengeance is Mine, says the Lord, I will repay.” So, not only can you afford to forgive and leave justice in His hands, but the freedom and joy of loving the way God loves, will also be yours.

Yeshua (Jesus) has forgiven us. We should forgive others as we’ve been forgiven. Let’s cut down the battered trees in our lives, choose forgiveness, in the Spirit of Jesus, and put on (agape) love.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten

Hold The Fort!

George Whittenby George Whitten

Luke 19:12-13 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

During the American Civil War in the 1860’s, a fierce battle took place at Altoona Pass. It was a key supply point for the Union Army, so the Confederate Army led by General Hood sought to take Altoona Pass which held over a million and a half rations. When Union General Sherman realized Hood’s plans, he dispatched General Corse along with 1,500 men to hold the city.

As the battle ensued, General Corse and his forces were forced into a small fort on a crest of a hill. The Northern army was being overwhelmed, with nearly half the men either killed or wounded in the battle. Things were looking extremely bleak, when in the distance from a mountain top twenty miles away a while flag was being waved, and those in the fort knew the message being sent, “Hold the fort; I am coming. W.T. Sherman.”

This sign gave the beleaguered army renewed strength to continue fighting the battle for another three hours until reinforcements finally arrived.

From this battle, a famous Christian song was written and its chorus is so eloquent for us today, “Hold the fort, for I am coming, Jesus signals still; Wave the answer back to heaven, By thy grace we will!”

In the midst of spiritual battles we can often feel besieged on every side – but HOLD THE FORT! Get some rest this weekend and renew your strength in the Lord for the victory is already won – we just need to continue fighting because He is coming!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten