Monday, July 21, 2014

FEAR NO EVIL


Why do so many followers of Jesus give in to fear mongering and the conspiratorial agenda of wolves? Jesus, rebuke us when we do not lift high the Law of Love. 



I am convinced that there are many who have not learned how to deal with rejection in their lives and get stuck in a difficult place when it happens to them.

Can you follow Jesus and not expect to experience some measure of misunderstanding, rejection or possibly even persecution? How was Jesus able to overcome and not resort to a victim mentality? How did Jesus overcome the extremity of betrayal?

Like us, Jesus had to trust in the God who will restore all that can be restored. The Judgments of God will come, but the meek and lowly will not be cut down when the reaper lifts his scythe.

I repent of the times that I have been influenced by fear more than the love of God. I repent of the times that I misjudged and wanted fire from Heaven to solve my problems with those who opposed me.

I am poor and blind to the mercies of God. I have been an oppressor and a liar. Even so, come Lord Jesus. Have mercy on me a sinner. Make my heart beat with your love and reconcile through me. This is my prayer.

Amen.



Friday, July 18, 2014

HOT HEADS FOR JESUS


How can we keep a good attitude and be faithful to Jesus when hot heads prevail? 




When you go online, listen to Christian radio and television or see what’s selling in the book charts, you will find that hot heads have a big audience.

The war of words is filled with shock and awe as we drop half-truth bombs on the world we are called to be peacemakers in. It just may be that we do not love the same world that God loves. Perhaps, we have not been influenced deeply enough by the words of Jesus who is too patient and merciful. We would rather point out the errors and agenda of the other and pray for their destruction.

There is definitely a place for identifying wolves in sheep clothing and those who teach a false gospel. The sad thing is we easily let hot heads lead us off the true path of Jesus who tells us to love our enemies.

Paul gave good instruction on how to live together in a dark world.


Romans 12:
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


The kind person is not a hot head. The compassionate follower of Jesus who treats their enemy well may have quite the affect on the other.


Feeding a hungry enemy might heap burning coals on their head. This is not some kind of twisted retaliation—just the acknowledgement that Christ-like behaviour may set their minds on fire with a dilemma. Will they remain hostile and bitter, or be reconciled as a friend? God desires the latter.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

PETER, GRAB YOUR SWORD!

The teachings of Jesus are very clear about us not taking matters into our own hands. Jesus is a pacifist in the truest sense and overcomes evil with good. He does not return evil for evil. He brings a better human law than the Old Testament or any other law code.

The gospel still exceeds all human codes of conduct and governance. If you call yourself a follower of Jesus, how are you overcoming this present world?


Are you becoming more merciful toward the world or just angrier? How are you in the face of open hostility and rejection of your Lord? Do you sometimes feel like Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane wanting to swing at someone with a sword? Or do you follow the Lamb to the sacrifice?

What would Jesus have us to do when we are rejected and despised, as He was? On the road to His demise we see the disciples with an attitude that easily infects us today.


Luke 9:
51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?”55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 Then he and his disciples went to another village.


The Jews and Samaritans had a longstanding feud based on bad history between them and a difference of religious opinion. It is extremely bold of Jewish Jesus to seek hospitality from a Samaritan village. It’s as if all the reasons to despise another race or religion fell out of Jesus’ head. He is willing to go to anyone who will receive Him.

The Samaritan villagers were not open to this act of reconciliation from a Jewish leader. Bitter history, fear and ‘he hit me first’ keep many people from even thinking about hospitality to strangers. Racism and prejudice always make you guilty by association.

We see hear a failure to provide basic human care. The Samaritan villagers would just as soon see these Jews vulnerable, hungry, unsheltered and alone on a dark road than to find a way to help them.

The disciples were not used to turning the other cheek or going the extra mile. They want to ask God to retaliate with fire from Heaven. How many followers of Jesus today would also ask God to rain down fire on atheists, humanists, homosexuals, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims or anyone else who might be dismissive or mock our Lord’s Name?

Hurry Peter! Pick up a sword and start swinging. Fire from Heaven on those who do not treat Jesus well!

And Jesus rebukes us…


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