Category Archives: Mercy

Yeshua Willingly Died For Us. Will You Accept His Offer?

Pilate knew Yeshua was not guilty. He looked for a way to please the crowd and release Christ. Could he have been influenced further to release Christ if Yeshua had provided a more vigorous defense? Perhaps, but this is not the point. Yeshua knew it was the Father’s will for him to suffer and die for our sin. Thus, he obeyed willingly.

John 19:1-15

The Crown of Thorns

     1Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him. 2And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; 3and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face. 4Pilate came out again and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” 5Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold, the Man!” 6So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, “Crucify, crucify!” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.” 7The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.”

      8Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid; 9and he entered into the Praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10So Pilate said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” 11Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” 12As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.”

      13Therefore when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” 15So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”

I find it interesting that Yeshua says those who delivered me to you have the greater sin. That does not excuse Pilate, but does put the focus back on the chief priests who were persecuting their own Messiah.

Yeshua was treated wrongly and brutally so. It was for our sins, not his own. He accepted it and did not try to avoid it. He is a powerful example for us in accepting and doing the will of the Father in our lives, even when it is hard.

It is also interesting to note that the last supper has come and gone and the Passover has not occurred yet. Some speculate that the last supper was a Passover supper, but scripture would say otherwise.  Rather, it appears that Yeshua was killed at the same day, perhaps hour, that the other Passover lambs were killed in preparation for Passover. He is our Passover lamb fulfilled. Because of his sacrifice, we are spared from a second death in judgment of our sin that we have earned by sinning. We are forgiven by grace, through faith in Christ as Messiah.

However, we must accept this offer. We must ask forgiveness, turn from our sins and repent. We must submit to Christ and accept him as lord and savior.

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Adulterous Woman

In John 8, Yeshua is confronted by scribes and Pharisees who bring a woman who they say was caught in adultery. There was a trap here. They were not interested in His opinion. They wanted to catch Him in some error. Perhaps they wanted to draw Him into denying or rejecting the law given to Moses so they could condemn Him. Perhaps they tried to trap Him by only bringing the woman? Should not the man be there also for punishment? We also don’t know what Yeshua wrote in the ground. There is much speculation. Was it about the sins of the accusers? We don’t know.

What we do know…

  • Yeshua in no way denied or rejected the law given to Moses. If He had, the accusers would have had what they wanted and seized Him.
  • Yeshua did not say it was ok to commit the sin. He did not excuse the sinner from the associated guilt.
  • Yeshua did not rebuke the accusers for confronting the woman in her sin. He rebuked them for the hardness of their hearts to use her life as part of a trap for Him. They were seeking neither justice nor God.

All who were there, seemingly even the woman accused, accepted that the behavior was wrong and she was guilty. Yeshua pointed out the hypocrisy of those who had come to trap Him. He brought to their minds their own guilt for their sins… their need for asking God for forgiveness.

John 8:1-11

The Adulterous Woman

      1But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. 3The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court,4they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. 5“Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” 6They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. 7But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 10Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]

The last guidance He gave to the woman was to go and sin no more. Repentance, not acceptance of the sin, which is demonstrated truly when we stop repeating the sin.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Son Of Man Has Come To Save That Which Is Lost

Our Lord, Yeshua came to save the lost. He did not come to hang out with those who are saved or those who think they do not need to be saved. To do this He chose to interact with the lost. He did not make them His best friends and closest confidants, but He ministered to them. He taught them. He dined with them. We can learn an important lesson about how we are to go and preach the gospel to the world from watching Yeshua in this way. Let us not sit in our pews talking only to those who know our Lord, but rather let us reach out to those who know Him not. (Of course we can also fellowship with fellow believers!)

There is more to this story, however. Yeshua chose Zaccheus after Zaccheus demonstrated that the Spirit was moving in Him. He was seeking the Lord. He wanted to see Yeshua. That is evidence that the Spirit is at work and Yeshua was ready to join where the Spirit was already at work.

Luke 19:1-10

Zaccheus Converted

     1He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. 3Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. 4So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. 5When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. 7When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” 9And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

To Judge or Not To Judge?

“Do not judge” is one of the most misunderstood and misused scriptures in the Bible. People jump to the conclusion that we should not call out as wrong any attitudes or behaviors, of others and thus accept everyone in their sin as they are. This is absolutely a wrong and dangerous understanding.

Luke 6:37-45

 37“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. 38“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

     39And He also spoke a parable to them: “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40“A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher. 41“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42“Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. 43“For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44“For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 45“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

We are called throughout the Bible to discern what is right and wrong with the reference point being the absolute truth of God’s word. We are to do right and avoid wrong. What sense would it make for Jesus (and the prophets) to call us to repentance if we are not to make any judgment about what is right or wrong? or if there is no right or wrong and everything is acceptable?

Matthew 4:17

   17From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

1 John 4:1-6

Testing the Spirits

     1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 4You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22

21But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22abstain from every form of evil.

I could go on probably all day with additional scripture calling us to discern good from bad, right from wrong. Let me pivot a bit to highlight scripture that clearly directs us to discern/ judge what is good and what is evil and set ourselves apart from those who are evil. It goes on to direct that “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16).

2 Timothy 3

“Difficult Times Will Come”

     1But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. 9But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also.

      10Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, 11persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! 12Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Clearly we can conclude that to say “do not judge” can not refer to accepting all behavior and attitudes and it can not be intended to say we should not rebuke or correct anyone based on their behavior compared to what is right according to scripture. Starting in Luke 6:43, scripture clearly highlights there is evil and good and we are to discern (or judge) which is which by examining the fruit… the same way we tell what kind of tree it is by looking at the fruit. Why even include this language if we are not supposed to judge good from bad? It would not make sense. These verses absolutely drive home the conclusion that we are called to judge good from bad and we look at the external actions and results of someone’s life, the fruit, to determine if they are good or bad. Since only God knows the heart, we must judge by the external fruit.

“Do not judge” would appear in this context to be reminding us to take caution in judging others harshly or quickly. We should first take care to evaluate ourselves carefully to ensure we understand and can see straight (first take the log out of your own eye) what the scriptures are telling us and the situation we are confronted with for which we are called to discern what is right and wrong. Let us take care not to by hypocritical, judging others harshly for things we ourselves still do. Let us judge others as we want to be judged by them. Let us use caution and patience in understanding a situation. Let us be graceful in remembering we also make mistakes. Even as we discern right and wrong, let us look upon those involved with love and grace. We need not hate or condemn the person even when we are called to clearly condemn the sin.

This is a difficult scripture for many. Take time to pray and listen. Spend time with the Lord and let the Spirit guide you in understanding and application of this scripture.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

His Ways Are Not Our Ways

Luke captured powerful teaching from our Lord, Yeshua in chapter 6. It is good to read all of it for context and then break it up and prayerfully consider it bite by bite to make sure you don’t miss anything. Click here to start in the preceding part of this series on the Beattitudes or click below to go to the biblical text directly to read more.

Today’s scripture reading could not emphasize more that the ways of the Lord are different from the ways of men. Let us take care not to reject them too quickly as “impossible” and instead ask the Spirit to guide us in applying them in our lives.

Luke 6:27-36

 27“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29“Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30“Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33“If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34“If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

What a powerful text! What a tremendous challenge to truly seek to live this way. Do not brush this off and move on, but dwell on it… read it a few times… pray over it. Ask the Spirit to open your eyes and guide your heart to apply it in your life.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Do Not Choose To Complain When God Calls You To Repent

Korah lead a rebellion in the beginning of Numbers 16. The Lord punished him and his family and those who also led the rebellion. They were swallowed up by the earth in a sign that could only be of the Lord. It was public and visible. One would assume then that the rest of the people who had been spared would be humble and repent before the Lord for their rebellion against Him. They did not. Instead they grumbled and complained, again jealous and blaming Moses and Aaron and never looking inward to judge the hardness of their own hearts in a way that could lead to repentance.

While it seems quite amazing, if you think about it in the lives of people around you every day, even those who say they believe and follow Jesus, you will see it is quite common. People have a tendency to excuse or overlook their sin and rebellion to God and blame others when things do not work out how they like. They do not internalize this issue of rebellion as originating with them… as their fault.

What an amazing response by Moses and Aaron… rather than just stand there and let God wipe out the rebellious people, they spring to action and make an intercessory offering and prayer on behalf of the sinful people. Though the people did not repent, the intercessory prayers of the righteous were enough for God to spare the people further destruction. What a great example of how we as God’s people should respond to those who struggle in their relationship with the Lord. Let us not be vengeful, but rather gracious in seeking to pray on their behalf before the Lord.

Numbers 16:41-50

Murmuring and Plague

     41But on the next day all the congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You are the ones who have caused the death of the LORD’S people.” 42It came about, however, when the congregation had assembled against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tent of meeting, and behold, the cloud covered it and the glory of the LORD appeared. 43Then Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting, 44and the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 45“Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly.” Then they fell on their faces. 46Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put in it fire from the altar, and lay incense on it; then bring it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone forth from the LORD, the plague has begun!” 47Then Aaron took it as Moses had spoken, and ran into the midst of the assembly, for behold, the plague had begun among the people. So he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. 48He took his stand between the dead and the living, so that the plague was checked. 49But those who died by the plague were 14,700, besides those who died on account of Korah. 50Then Aaron returned to Moses at the doorway of the tent of meeting, for the plague had been checked.

When God calls you to repent, do not choose to complain instead. Take care not to be like those who sin and then grumble, always blaming the righteous for what goes wrong and never internalizing your own sin and relationship with the Lord.

Look also for the opportunity to pray for others, even those who would do you harm or say bad things to and about you. What a way to be a light to the world!

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Balancing Judgment and Mercy

The subject of law and judgment can be a difficult one. We look to Jesus’ example and see immediately a call for grace and forgiveness of the repentant, but we need also recognize that God also gives instructions to hold people accountable for their actions. Sometimes it feels harsh to us, but God is a just God.

The scripture in Leviticus 24 is in the context of responding to a man who cursed God. It is worth considering… if we curse God, He simply lets us bear the burden of our own sin, in accordance with our rejection of Him and His grace and mercy.  The penalty is death.

Leviticus 24:15-16

15“You shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If anyone curses his God, then he will bear his sin. 16‘Moreover, the one who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. The alien as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.

Scripture continues to record additional instruction provided at the time for other crimes along the lines of “an eye for an eye”. We can have a vigorous debate about what we think are the right punishments in balancing “an eye for an eye” with the example of grace and mercy shown by Jesus toward repentant sinners. It is particularly difficult as man is not very good at judging the heart of other men in the genuineness of their repentance, or lack thereof. But we can clearly see that God is showing us that accountability for our actions against others call for accountability and judgment. For many it is only through this accountability and judgment that they will be encouraged not to harm others. It also sets a clear standard and communicates it to the broader population for what is acceptable and will be tolerated… and what is not.

Leviticus 24:17-23

“An Eye for an Eye”

     17‘If a man takes the life of any human being, he shall surely be put to death. 18‘The one who takes the life of an animal shall make it good, life for life. 19‘If a man injures his neighbor, just as he has done, so it shall be done to him: 20fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; just as he has injured a man, so it shall be inflicted on him. 21‘Thus the one who kills an animal shall make it good, but the one who kills a man shall be put to death. 22‘There shall be one standard for you; it shall be for the stranger as well as the native, for I am the LORD your God.’” 23Then Moses spoke to the sons of Israel, and they brought the one who had cursed outside the camp and stoned him with stones. Thus the sons of Israel did, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

Let us neither dismiss accountability and judgment, nor grace and mercy. If we are to reflect the image of our Father we must harness both in proper balance. Pray for His help in your life personally and to influence our culture and government toward His ways.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Are We To See the World As Black and White?

Let me begin by saying racism is ugly. Hating someone (or liking them more than others) just based on their skin color is wrong.  Jehovah has created a great diversity of people across the globe which we can celebrate in much the same way in which he has created so many different beautiful landscapes and environments ranging from desert, tundra, forest, tropical, plains, etc. Mountains and valleys.

There is a fundamental flaw in the world view of man that Satan loves to exploit. As humans we have basic “tribal” instincts. We identify with others who are similar to us. It can be a sports team like NY Mets or NY Yankees… even in the same city there is rivalry over the sports identity. It is said you can’t be a fan of both… why not? Man made division and false choices of loyalty. Many seem to take the same approach with grouping themselves and identifying primarily by the color of their skin or other attributes such as wealth or lack of it. While these differences can be helpful to understand in terms of where someone may be “coming from” in their life experience, the Father never intended for these to be the divisions by which we identify ourselves.

Many will quickly call to nationalism as a common identity… e.g. we are all part of the same country for example. This also serves good purpose, but should not be our primary identity. Our primary identity according to scripture is in terms of whom we serve… who is our master. Is it our Creator? or is it our nation? or a group of people with similar skin color or likes such as sports? We can only truly have one primary identity. The others must necessarily be secondary or even tertiary.

Now to be clear, I speak to followers of Christ… who persecute none but rather are called to act in love to reach out to all. This does not mean accepting and endorsing sinful behavior that is rebellious to God, as that is not showing love to those who are lost. We are to be the light of the world and lead others to the Father through Christ. To do so, we must highlight what is right and what is wrong. (If a building is on fire and someone inside refuses to acknowledge it, I do not show love by telling them they are ok to stay there. Similarly I do not show love by telling people it is ok to remain in sin and rebellion to God through their life choices and behavior and attitudes.)

Galatians 3

 27For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.

Because of the human sinful condition and because so many continue to reject Christ as the way to the Father, there will be hate. It need not come from the Christian, but it will come from those who reject Christ towards those who love Him. We should remember that God’s people were previously enslaved in Egypt (and are actively persecuted in many countries around the world still today). We should have mercy and show grace to those strangers, those who have different beliefs than we do, and not mistreat them because they are in a minority. (That does not mean we endorse or support their false beliefs, but we do not oppress them.)

Exodus 22:21-24

      21“You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 22“You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. 23“If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; 24and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.

John 3:16-21

    16“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

As followers of Christ we can not change others, but we can live our lives as a shining light to guide them to Christ and thus to Jehovah. We can pray for our communities, states, country and the world. Pray for God to move among the people and stir up revival and spread the glory of the gospel to all the corners of the world. If you serve the Lord, remember to identify first as part of the body of Christ rather than white or black, rich or poor, man or woman, etc. That will set the tone for the rest of your behaviors and attitudes to guide your life on the right path much better than trying to follow man’s divisions of people. Remember, there is no greater joy for us as believers than to welcome new members into our body of Christ! All are welcome, but they must submit to Christ wholeheartedly and reject the way of the world.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Set The Right Standard By Personal Example

Yeshua sets a high bar when He instructs His followers on proper behavior in how they are to treat one another. We are to engage others using a very challenging and selfless standard He lays out for us in Luke 6. Ultimately we are instructed to treat other by the same standard we want God to apply to ourselves.

Luke 6:27-38

    27“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29“Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30“Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33“If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34“If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

      37“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. 38“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

The closing line says it all… we are to treat others by the same standard we wish for God to use in His relationship with us. Take time to dwell on that and truly allow yourself the humility to accept where you are not living up to the right standard. I clearly have room to go in this area. There is more grace and mercy I can pour out to others in my relationship with them… more love… more giving. I pray the Holy Spirit helps me and I know He will, because He always does. Praise God He is so compassionate and loving and filled with mercy and grace in His relationship with me. Let me be so to others.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Worldliness vs. Godliness

Understanding from God is very different from understanding that is of the world. Let us judge carefully which we follow in our lives. Our actions will reveal our motivations.

James 3:14-16

     13Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Bitter jealousy and selfish ambition are of the world. Arrogance as well. It brings disorder and evil and never peace. Godly wisdom is pure, gentle, peaceable, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruit and without hypocrisy. It brings peace.

Which will you choose?

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