Friday, October 7, 2022

And So Prove...

And So Prove...
by David Brenneman 

"My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; remain in My love.  If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full." John 15:8-11 NASB 

"Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he encountered robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by coincidence a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan who was on a journey came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,  and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you.’ Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” And he said, “The one who showed compassion to him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”" Luke 10:30-37 NASB 

People are of every type and kind in this world.  Just as it was around 2,000 years ago.  People are people.  

Hypocrisy is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as "the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform; pretense."

Hypocrisy is only known to moral beings.  God created us with morals.  Whether we listen to them as He intended them to be is a different matter. 

People who are alive and breathing are why Christians still exist today.  Christians are supposed to be having the aim in life to be fully devoted followers of Christ Jesus.  As we read "and so prove to be My Disciples".

We as Christians can often be the greatest source of hypocrisy.  We act one way on Sunday Morning then become something else when around others or even concerning something as watching an event or something on television.  That's hypocrisy. Calling a spade a spade. 

This is of the same vein as people saying they forgive someone yet still do the very un-Christ-like thing of holding the offense against someone.  

If it says in the Bible, "“FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES, AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.”" Hebrews 8:12 NASB, then ought we not to do the same?

We aren't to necessarily avoid those who have done something for which we were hurt.  We are to indeed forgive as Christ forgave us.  We are to be like the Good Samaritan.  Set aside whatever feelings and emotions that are there to do the right thing in God's eyes.

Even the worst of the worst in the world today is alive for but one reason: God's mercy and grace.  He's allowing them to live to give them a chance at salvation in Christ Jesus.  If such people have hurt us and God causes their path and ours...there's a reason.  God's the one who makes a way where there once was no way.  The Spirit is about the Father’s business through us.  It's not on the plate for us to reject assignments from God.

Every single person receives a gift from God in every single breath they are allowed to take. 

"But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing His garments among themselves." Luke 23:34 NASB.  Jesus forgave people at their worst.  In the woman caught in adultery. He did not condemn.  

Our behavior, in Christ, towards especially those who have wronged us sets us apart from the world.  

Our behavior should have no exclusions. 
There should be nothing that we display as Christians that shows the world that we're no different from them.  Reality is this: Matthew 5:16 NASB "Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." If your light isn't doing this then it's highly likely that you're glorifying the god of this world.

Our lives are meant to be different from the world after we come to Christ.  From Pastors on down to the new Believer, our lives are to reflect Christ in us. 

Christ would never shun someone who hurt Him.
Christ wouldn't cut people down over a failed attempt at a field goal. 
Christ wouldn't berate people over a missed call in a game. 
Christ would not avoid anyone because of this background or that background.

Paul ended up in prison.  Even in there he was a witness to his jailer.  He made the most of every opportunity. He held nothing against those who put him there.  He says that he had learned to be content in every situation. 

Jesus was content in every situation.  

When you go about your day keep in mind how much forgiveness was given to you. 
Keep in mind how you appear to those in this world.  So they see anger, bitterness, rage, at things that absolutely do not matter in light of eternity?  Would YOU be attracted to a relationship with Jesus based on how you are on display before you?   

If even your enemy is brought across your path by God then there's a reason.  Maybe it's to pray for them. Maybe it's to speak a kind word to them.  Maybe it's to show the forgiveness of God to them.  Our lives are to point people to Jesus. Regardless of who they are or what they have done.  

"For if you forgive other people for their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive other people, then your Father will not forgive your offenses." Matthew 6:14-15 NASB.

In your life...are you proving to be His Disciple?  Are your deeds causing others to glorify your Father who is in Heaven?  Are you giving excuses for rage and hate, misguided anger in your life?  

1 John 2:15-17 NASB "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.  The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever."

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