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Turn The Other Cheek?

38  Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.   Matthew 5:38-48

Now, we respond to what Jesus said here in many ways.:

  • We might say: I can’t just stand there and let someone attack me and not fight back. My survival instincts  will take over. It is foolish not to try to defend yourself.We could think, I have to protect the things I worked for. No one can just come up and take what belongs to me without a fight.
  • Or we could say, and some commentators say that Jesus was speaking to a 1st century Jewish audience. He gave them the wise way to handle the abusive tactics of the Roman soldiers. He was teaching how to live in a godly, dignified way in the face of an oppressive state.
  • I might even say, I don’t understand what Jesus is saying. But I know this. No one is going to disrespect me. I can’t be a push over. I can’t be used and abused. I can’t be a doormat, a pushover, a punk, a weakling, a wuss. Lay a hand on me and draw back a nub
  • What is your reaction?

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A Personal Gospel

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Romans 1:16,17

That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:16:

If we are acceptable to God and sanctified – set apart, a thing of value and utility put aside to be used in the manner it is designed for – then let us live out the full meaning of this. The Just shall live by faith. The just shall live as if they believed every promise of God to be true and applicable to them – and especially them because they are accepted and sanctified.

If we truly believed something, we would act upon it. If I believe this chair can hold me, I won’t hesitate to sit down when I need to. I leave my house every day, confident that I can breathe the air. If my friend, Bill, says to me, “Anytime you need some money, let me know.”  I will not hesitate to go to him if I am in need.

If I go to the ATM and check my balance, if it says I have $50.00 and I need $40.00, I will go ahead withdraw my $40.00. Wait thought: what is some checks haven’t cleared yet, or my last gasoline purchase hasn’t gone through. Even though my ATM balance says I have $50.00, I may not have in fact have the $50.00. To be confident of this, I need to examine my receipts,  then reconcile my account. Only then will I know whether to proceed or not with the withdrawal.

Does this describe our faith in God’s promises? We know what the word says, but we think we have some transactions that haven’t cleared yet: sins we haven’t confessed or even sins we are not even aware of.

What if we knew that if we went to the ATM, saw our balance, withdrew the money we need based on that balance and we knew that the bank would not penalize us. In fact, the next day, someone from the bank would call us and alert us to the problem and give us an opportunity to put in more money. Or give us over-draft protection. With confidence, we would withdraw the money we need. Because we appreciate the banks policies – we know how it was at our old bank– we don’t take advantage of the overdraft protection and deliberately take out took much money. We respond in kind to the bank.

Likewise, in our Christian walk. We appreciate, we are thankful that God has cleansed us, justified us, sanctified, and still sanctifies us. We respond in kind. We accept God’s promises –Faith. We Boldly walk in them. In finances, in health, in family, in our spiritual family here at Latter Rain (my home church), what ever area of our life in which we have need. In every part of our life, We walk by faith (not by our sin account because we know that the Holy Spirit works in believers to correct). God has justified us, so we live by faith.

I am not there yet, but God is working in me and in all of us to take us from “faith to faith”. From a little faith to water walking faith: from “now I lay me down type faith” to believing God for your home, your future mate, your children, your business, the economy, your health, your finances, your ministry, your next meal. The Just (us) will live by faith.