Continuing on now from Part Three:
Let’s look at the difference that Jesus made in the lives of tax collectors and prostitutes and especially in relation to the letter of the Law, versus the Spirit of the Law. He refused to let the religious leaders follow the “letter” of the Law and He did so by demonstrating the life and power of the Spirit of that very Law. I have said it many, many times and I will not stop preaching it until the Lord calls me home:
Jesus stated that the Law and the Prophets, the Word of God written up to that point and what was to be written is accomplished in just two commandments, “Jesus said to him,” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ “This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”—Matthew 22:37-40.
Jesus lived this AND He demonstrated it. When the religious leaders wanted Him to do something about the political situation, He let it be known that He was there for a spiritual purpose, to show the way of Truth and not to change the politics of the time! He demonstrated that living the way of Love would take care of the political problems as well as others. I have also stated this before, He didn’t come to abolish sin, but rather made a way for sinners to escape the penalty of judgment! He didn’t come to condemn the world, but rather to show the world that through Him we could all have life and that more abundantly! (John 3:17, John 10:10). That life is spiritual life reborn for that is what we were dead too as long as we were slaves to sin.
Why then do we feel we have the right to be condemning rather than to show the world that they can all have life through Him!? How do we balance preaching the truth without compromise and yet showing those that need it most that they are loved? We balance it by having the right heart, the right spiritual attitude. We do it by doing what the Lord tells us to do and nothing more or nothing less. We do it by being obedient to Him and Him alone, rather than justify why we as individuals should do it our own way! Remember, Jesus IS our example and His example was lived according to what He stated more than once; “Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” – John 5:19, and also, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” – John 12:49-50.
So now I ask you this; if Jesus IS our example and I’m here to tell you He is, then we must follow the same example that He set and be ever cautious to do AND speak what He tells us through the Holy Spirit! Remember this statement as well, “Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.” – Luke 21:14-15. Now this is written in relation to being brought before authorities and leaders and such, but it IS a spiritual principle in that we need not worry ahead of time what we need to say when giving a testimony of the Gospel of Christ.
So, how do WE deal with evils of this world? Exactly like Jesus did, exactly the same way! We pray, pray and pray. We pray for all those in leadership whether we agree with them or not, AND this is especially important in this age where we KNOW the Lord is coming back soon. We pray for those who have rule over us. We pray for the teachers and the shepherds and those responsible for our spiritual well-being. We pray for the Lord’s will to continue to manifest itself in the world, even if we don’t totally understand what is going on. We walk in the Spirit knowing full well that God IS in control! We pray for one another for strength, for faith, for courage and for each of the fruit of the Spirit. We pray for the blinders of the enemy to be removed from the lost and that their hearts and spirits would be fertile ground for the life and heart changing Word of God. We pray for a clear vision of the Lord’s timing and the ability to move in it!
We also love those that are unlovable; those that are sinning, openly and privately, and we love them with actions and not relying on our feelings. We have to be the example of Jesus Christ to them in a world where Jesus Christ is just a name! We have to stand up for righteousness but we also must realize that what is coming has been foretold. Our goal is not to change this world, for Christ Jesus Himself will do that eventually, but our goal is to allow the Holy Spirit to change hearts. He and He alone knows which hearts will be broken on Him and which hearts will have to be crushed. That is HIS job and HIS ALONE! We are not to hinder that process by believing we have a better way!
Matthew 18:7, “Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!”
Luke 17:1, “Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!”
Jesus gave us a clue here and in other Scriptures of what is to come. Sin is going to happen. Innocents are going to die. People will continue in perversion despite love and the power of the Word, but woe to them who cause it! We already know there are those that will sin and will be judged. Our purpose, our job, our calling is to show them a better way so that they will be without excuse. Just as in Jesus day, they will either accept it or reject it. It is only our duty to be obedient, so let’s put away the condemnation, and start demonstrating what is really in our hearts! Remember, not condemning does not mean we condone! Condemnation is sentencing already a person. Only Christ Jesus can AND will judge. We do not have to condone sin, but we cannot condemn the sinner. We may know according to the Word the outcome of unrepentant sin, but we can NEVER fully know another person’s heart before God!
Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to fill our cup to overflowing for it is only then that it will be able to flow out to those around us who truly need it. Yes, I am to love my brothers and sisters but that is really the easy part. I am also to love my neighbor who may be doing something that I detest! Now that is a real demonstration of God’s love!
Philippians 4:4-8 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” (bold emphasis mine).
Consider this prayer: Lord fill my heart to overflowing! Cause me to see and to hear, oh Lord, all you are directing me to do. Help me to be blind to what the world and even the religious tell me I am supposed to be doing. Allow Your Light and Your Light alone to be a beacon to those around me! Let them see You and You alone and help me to diminish so that Your will may be accomplished in the lives of those around me! Help me to never be ashamed to proclaim Your Truth and Lord as I am obedient in what You have called me to do, let it not return void, but rather cause it to be profitable spiritually to those that You direct it too! In Jesus Name, in His authority and by the Power of the Holy Spirit, let it be done! Amen and Amen!