Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How To Get A Glimpse Of The Character Of Christ

“I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” —Matthew 5:39

“This verse reveals the humiliation of being a Christian. In the natural realm, if a person does not hit back, it is because he is a coward. But in the spiritual realm, it is the very evidence of the Son of God in him if he does not hit back. When you are insulted, you must not only not resent it, but you must make it an opportunity to exhibit the Son of God in your life. And you cannot imitate the nature of Jesus— it is either in you or it is not. A personal insult becomes an opportunity for a saint to reveal the incredible sweetness of the Lord Jesus.[…]  A disciple realizes that it is his Lord’s honor that is at stake in his life, not his own honor. Never look for righteousness in the other person, but never cease to be righteous yourself. We are always looking for justice, yet the essence of the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is— Never look for justice, but never cease to give it.” CHAMBERS

One of the most difficult spiritual lessons that I have learned is this.  I had been a Christian for 29 years before I learned it.  God allowed a circumstance in my life that I was well prepared to respond to.  I was maligned and mistreated by another Christian.  A leader … but when I talked to another Christian about what I should do, he said “Do nothing.”  Do nothing!  I wanted to protect my reputation .. my name .. the work I was doing for the Lord .. but my friend said, “do nothing.”  I must say, I struggled with that.  We all have areas in our lives that are not yielded to the lordship of Jesus.  This is probably one of the most difficult to give up.  Turning the other cheek, giving your coat too, going the extra mile … being silent before your accusers … that is contrary to your “natural” instincts.  You are vulnerable .. exposed .. helpless and you don’t like that feeling.  You want justice .. retribution. And yet, the Lord says yield to it.

The lesson is one of trust and faith.  Do you believe that God is sovereign? Do yo believe that God loves you? Do you believe what the Bible says about your relationship with Him in Christ?  Do you love Jesus?  Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) Why is this a problem?  We live our lives mostly in the power of our flesh and not the Spirit.  So, when we are faced with a situation where an injustice is directed toward us, we want justice .. and judgement … now.  Our flesh cries out for it. The sinful act may be directed toward you, but the person is sinning against God.  If you believe God will take care of you .. then it is at that time that you must remember, God will take care of you.  I did not respond to the person I mentioned earlier, and I guess I should have thanked them.  Why? Because what they did to me gave me a glimpse of the character of Christ in me. So now, when an injustice is directed at me, and it has been consistently, I don’t ask the Lord “Why me?”   But I ask, Lord, what are you teaching me?  So what has He been teaching you and did you learn anything?  Think about it.  ELGIN

Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

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