Sticks And Stones…..

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35.

nature-large-boulders-1013tm-pic-1565Something has been burdening my heart lately. I peruse a few different social media sites. On one in particular, I have seen a couple posts by a professing Christian attacking and name calling fellow believers. The childhood saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”, is simply not true. While I am not the victim of this name calling it is a direct attack on the brethren I call family…..every believer in Christ. And, it hurts God’s heart.

How are we to prove to the world that we are indeed Christ’s disciples if we are not loving one another despite our human frailties, our differences in opinion and theology or without knowing each other’s story? Each of us has a story and many times it is the story of our past that drives our current behavior until we let the Savior in to heal us.

When believers call out other believers, in anger, disgust or resentment, over something that they read, hear or has been said to them directly, their witness as ambassadors of Christ is no different than the one being “called out”.  Can you see the subtlety of Satan here? If he can keep many focused on calling each other out publicly with name calling and unkind words, then his job is done for him. Why would anyone want what we have if there is anything but love going on in the house of God?

Beloved, let us be gentle with one another, praying for each other, especially when we want to attack without knowing another’s story. We all have a story.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2.

Shalom!

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God’s Generous Justice

6a00d83452063969e20148c72da95a970cCurrently, I am reading “Generous Justice” by Timothy Keller. The premise of the book is God’s generous justice toward us in that we are saved by justification by grace through faith in Jesus. All our good works, whatever they may be, will not save us or give us salvation. Rather, it is our faith in Christ that produces good works by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that lives in each one who believes in Christ.

The depth of the book, for me, is presented by Timothy with the idea that when we begin to understand God’s generous justice; his grace toward us, we begin to understand our identity in Christ. As we begin to understand our identity in Christ we become more Christ like in our thoughts, words and actions. When God’s generous justice toward us begins to transform our life we begin to think outside ourselves. We become aware of the poor and powerless around us. The widow, the orphan, the foreigner, the homeless, the downtrodden. Our hearts are moved to want to help bring justice to lives of others.

Moses told the Israelites:

Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer, For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing, And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt. Deuteronomy 10:16-19Truth Not Lies Board Showing Honesty

This thought crossed my mind, “what would it look like if we treated ALL people the way we are commanded to treat the widow, the orphan and the foreigner?” Demanding God’s generous justice for everyone, not from a place of righteous piety but simply from the love of Christ in us.

peace-92313-673The second greatest commandment is this; Love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:31. In loving ourselves we are not judgmental or accusatory and so it should be the same as we endeavor to love others with God’s grace; His generous justice.

Shalom!

Judging a Book by its Cover

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At times we can look at a situation and only see the negative; judging a book by its cover. Maybe the book has been passed over many times; discarded; worthless. Maybe this time God has chosen you to get to know the characters and their story; sharing His love with them in their time of need.  Oh, I’m sure this book isn’t your usual genre of choice. God knows and He always knows what He is doing. 


“And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14.


Pray; Trust; Obey.