My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. I follow the readings and journaling from lifejournal.me. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Mercy and Judgement
“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.
(Luke 6:26 NASB)
“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. (Luke 6:35 NASB)
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
(Luke 6:36 NASB)
“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.
(Luke 6:37 NASB)
The Beatitudes are a blueprint for the holy life and through them
we are challenged to understand what Christ was presenting to his
followers. The kingdom of God is radically opposed to the kingdom of
the world and the standard way in which things and people function.
Jesus understood that to live life within the kingdom would not
necessarily be seen as "acceptable" behavior. We all like to have
people like us and we want people to speak well of us but when we are
living life in the kingdom the reality is that there will be those who
will not like us and they will not speak well of us and we must
understand that serving God is not a popularity contest. However, we
are not to isolate ourselves from those who don't "get" what we are
doing but instead we are to love them. Loving them means that we are to
go out of our way to do good things for those who may not like us. We
are to lend to them and not expect to get anything back. Why? Because
this is what Jesus has done and we are to follow his example and to be
his reflection here on this earth. So show mercy and don't judge those
who have been hard on you. Sometimes we just may not understand what
they are up against, or what they are facing. We are to show the world
mercy, and we are not to be the ones who judge.
Jesus gives very specific instructions in the Beatitudes about how
we are to life the Christian life. It is a radical set of instructions
which basically calls on us to be imitators of Christ. But why is
imitation of Christ so important to our Christian walk? Is it so that
the world can see Christ in us, or is it so that we can literally be
transformed through imitation? The answer to both is yes! As we begin
our spiritual journey we learn all that we can about Christ and as we
follow him, we try to follow his example. We try to live by what he has
taught us here in the Beatitudes. As we continue in the journey of
imitating Christ we are in fellowship with him in a way which is
transformational. There comes a point in our walk with him that our
participation in Christ through imitation of Christ becomes so
intermingled that we no longer know whether our responses are ours -- by
imitation -- or whether it is Christ in us being revealed to the world.
This is why Paul could declare, "Follow me, as I follow Christ." He
understood that he wasn't asking people to be like Paul, but instead was
asking others to follow into a life of imitation of Christ which would
ultimately be transformational.
The spiritual journey brings understanding to the fact that we should
not be judgmental. Why? Because we are all at different places on
that journey and we don't want to do anything to throw anyone off of
that path. Too often our criticisms of others makes them want to get
off the path and give up on the journey. God has called us to follow
him, to become like him, and to draw others toward him on the journey.
That's why we must show mercy. Help keep them on the path!!! Our
negative attitudes and criticisms will only work to harm those who are
trying to follow Christ. Let's ask God to reveal to us what needs to be
changed in us and may he be merciful to us while we do not judge the
hearts of others. This will be transformational, not just for us, but
for others as well.
Lord, please help me to seek you today with all my heart. Please,
help me to live a life in imitation of you and please help me not to
judge those around me. Amen.