Luke 6:36 KJV
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
PRE-AMBLE by Robert
In conversation, over a late lunch, with my wife, comparing our observations about those who surround and make up the community we currently live in. It became sadly apparent to both of us and with a pain in our hearts.
Many are walking with bitterness and hatred in their hearts, which includes some who believe they walk deeply in the word and with the light of Yeshua.
The sadness in our hearts comes as we recognize that even when the truth is brought to them, and they realize the damage in their lives; as a result, there will be no change. However, through God-given perseverance, we know everything is possible through Yeshua, and the how is described in the following article, because of this lunch with my wife and Yeshua. (Matt.18:20).
OPENING COMMENTS by Robert
Though men are ever so bad themselves and carry it ever so basely towards us, yet that does not discharge us from the high debt we owe them, of love to our kind, love to our kin. We cannot but find ourselves very prone to wish the hurt, or at least very coldly to want the good, of those that hate us, and have been abusive to us.
But that which is at the bottom hereof is a root of bitterness, which must be plucked up, and a remnant of corrupt nature which grace must conquer.
Note: it is the high duty of Christians to love their enemies; we cannot have complacency in one that is openly wicked and profane, nor put confidence in one that we know to be deceitful, nor are we to love all alike.
But we must pay respect to human nature, and so far, honour all men. We must take notice, with pleasure, of that even in our enemies, which is amiable and commendable ingenuousness, good temper, learning, and moral virtue, kindness to others, a profession of religion, and love that, though they are our enemies.
We must have compassion for them and goodwill toward them. We are here told,
- That we must speak well of them: Bless them that curse you. When we talk to them, we must answer their reviling’s with courteous and friendly words, and not give railing for railing behind their backs we must commend that in them which is commendable, and when we have said all the good we can of them, not be forward to say anything more. See 1 Peter 3:9. They, in whose tongues is the law of kindness, can give kind words to those who provide vulgar words to them.
- That we must do well to them: “Do good to them that hate you, and that will be a better proof of love than good words. Be ready to do them all the real kindness that you can, and glad of an opportunity to do it, in their bodies, estates, names, families and especially to do good to their souls” It was said of Archbishop Cranmer, that the way to make him a friend was to do him an ill turn so many did he serve who had disobliged him.
- We must pray for them: Pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you.
- (1) It is no new thing for the most excellent saints to be hated, and cursed, and persecuted, and despitefully used, by wicked people Christ himself was so treated.
- (2) That when at any time we meet with such usage, we have an opportunity of showing our conformity both to the precept and to the example of Christ by praying for them who thus abuse us. If we cannot otherwise testify our love to them, yet this way, we may without ostentation, and it is such a way as surely, we durst not dissemble in.
We must pray that God will forgive them, that they may never fare the worse for anything they have done against us, and that he would make them be at peace with us, and this is one way of making them so.
CLOSING COMMENTS by Robert
The Jewish teachers by “neighbour” understood only those who were of their own country, nation, and religion, whom they were pleased to look upon as their friends.
The Lord Jesus teaches that we must do all the real kindness we can to all, especially to their souls. We must pray for them. While many will give good for good, we must provide useful for evil; and this will speak a nobler principle than most men act by.
Others salute their brethren and embrace those of their own party, and way, and opinion, but we must not so confine our respect. It is the duty of Christians to desire, and aim at, and press towards perfection in grace and holiness. And therein we must study to conform ourselves to the example of our heavenly Father, 1 Peter 1:15, 1 Peter 1:16.
Surely more is to be expected from the followers of Christ than from others; surely more will be found in them than in others. Let us beg of God to enable us to prove ourselves, his children.
Both the sufferings of the Head and of the members are called the sufferings of Christ, and makeup, as it were, one body of sufferings. But He suffered for the redemption of the church; we suffer on other accounts, for we do but slightly taste that cup of afflictions of which Christ first drank deeply.
A Christian may be said to fill up that which remains of the sufferings of Christ when he takes up his cross, and after the pattern of Christ, patiently bears the afflictions God allots to him.
Let us be thankful that God has made known to us mysteries, hidden from ages and generations, and has shown the riches of his glory among us. As Christ is preached among us, let us seriously inquire whether he dwells and reigns in us, for this alone can warrant our assured hope of his glory. We must be faithful to death, through all trials, that we may receive the crown of life, and obtain the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls.
Paul had differed with Barnabas, on account of this Mark, yet he is not only reconciled but recommends him to the churches; an example of a truly Christian and forgiving spirit. If men have been guilty of a fault, it must not always be remembered against them.
We must forget as well as forgive. The apostle had comfort in the communion of saints and ministers. One is his fellow-servant, another his fellow-prisoner, and all his fellow-workers, working out their own salvation, and endeavouring to promote the salvation of others.
The effectual, fervent prayer is the prevailing prayer and availed much. The smiles, flatteries, or frowns of the world, the spirit of error, or the working of self-love, leads many to a way of preaching and living which comes far short of fulfilling their ministry. But those who preach the same doctrine as Paul, and follow his example, may expect the Divine favour and blessing.
To any that ask, it shall be given. A mind that has single and prevailing regard to its spiritual and eternal interest, and that keeps steady in its purposes for God, will grow wise by afflictions, will continue fervent in devotion, and rise above trials and oppositions.
When our faith and spirits rise and fall with second causes, there will be unsteadiness in our words and actions. This may not always expose men to contempt in the world, but such ways cannot please God.
No condition of life is such as to hinder rejoicing in God. Those of low degree may rejoice if they are exalted to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom of God; and the rich may enjoy in humbling providences, that lead to a humble and lowly disposition of mind.
Worldly wealth is a withering thing. Then, let him that is rich rejoice in the grace of God, which makes and keeps him humble; and in the trials and exercises which teach him to seek happiness in and from God, not from perishing enjoyments.
As the traveller, the racer, the warrior, and the labourer gathered in their long and loose garments, that they might be ready in their business, so let Christians do by their minds and affections.
Be sober, be watchful against all spiritual dangers and enemies, and be temperate in all behaviour. Be sober-minded in opinion, as well as in practice, and humble in your judgment of yourselves.
A strong and perfect trust in the grace of God is agreeable with the best endeavours in our duty. Holiness is the desire and commitment of every Christian. It must be in all affairs, in every condition, and towards all people. We must especially watch and pray against the sins to which we are inclined. The written word of God is the surest rule of a Christian’s life, and by this rule, we are commanded to be holy every way. God makes those Eternal whom he saves.
Here is an excellent piece of wisdom from Apostle Paul, when we have the urge to hold onto a bit of bitterness or vengeance, think about the following. It should sober your thoughts.
Because God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven you, therefore be ye followers of God, imitators of God. Resemble him, especially in his love and pardoning goodness, as becomes those beloved by their heavenly Father. In Christ’s sacrifice, his love triumphs, and we are to consider it fully.
Is this a deep calling “Yes”? Is it worth our effort, “Yes,” Are we answering our Father’s call to return to following His Laws “Yes”? It all started here where we were given a choice who to follow as we see in this link and, in so doing, have been lead and taught by the Holy Spirit in preparation for these battles.
Remember, I am just the messenger, and the choices to be made are yours. Keep in mind what the Watchman is obligated to in Ezekiel 33 I believe applies to all who have received the knowledge of the warning and messages applies to you as well. It boils down to the choices of the individual. May our Lord continue blessing you as you go forward, walking in His light and peace.