Friday, July 06, 2007

Inconvenient Commandments

Luke 6:35-36 (New International Version)
35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Sometimes God's direction is inconvenient and difficult--but impossible to ignore.

I mean I really love all that I read in God's Word about loving one another--until someone does something that is unfair, rude or unjust. That's when my own ideas of justice take over. There's something wrong with that--like saying I'm a vegetarian then having a juicy steak for dinner.

In Soul Survivor, a book by Philip Yancey, there is a chapter on Mahatma Ghandi, who was a Hindu. He admired Jesus and often quoted from the Sermon on the Mount. Once when the missionary E. Stanley Jones met with Ghandi he asked him, "Mr. Ghandi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?"

Ghandi replied, "Oh, I don't reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ."

I confess--mine is far from the lifestyle Jesus lived and my heart has far to go before it reflects his heart--which was always for others and never for self--but I love him and want to press in to be more like him.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to reflect you when it's hard--when it's easy I don't really think it counts.

More like Jesus would I be, let my Savior dwell with me;
Fill my soul with peace and love—make me gentle as a dove;
More like Jesus, while I go, pilgrim in this world below;
Poor in spirit would I be; let my Savior dwell in me.

If He hears the raven’s cry, if His ever watchful eye
Marks the sparrows when they fall, surely He will hear my call:
He will teach me how to live, all my sinful thoughts forgive;
Pure in heart I still would be—let my Savior dwell in me.

More like Jesus when I pray, more like Jesus day by day,
May I rest me by His side, where the tranquil waters glide.
Born of Him through grace renewed, by His love my will subdued,
Rich in faith I still would be—let my Savior dwell in me.

Fanny Crosby

1 Peter 1:22 (New International Version)
22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart

Psalm 139:23 (New International Version)
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

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