"Being of the same mind, maintaing the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose." Philippians 2:2
JESUS IS COMING SOON
“I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”
As we approach upon this sacred, holy day, the day we choose to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the One and only Son of God, let us stop and look at the last Words given to us by the disciple, John. John testifies that Jesus said, “Yes, I am coming quickly”. Well, we all know that by our way of viewing linear time that it has been roughly 2000 years since the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and we may be growing weary or losing hope. I say to you, “Rest your hearts. Jesus is coming. Jesus is coming soon.” It is not up to us to judge how God views time or when God determines the time and return of Jesus Christ. We need to be thankful that God is still waiting. The longer God waits, the more can find hope and the love of God. Heed the warning of this scripture, do not take away and do not add to this prophecy or the word of Jesus Christ. If Jesus said He’s coming soon, then Jesus is coming soon. Let that bring peace to us and great joy as we come upon this holy day. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let us also celebrate that Jesus is coming quickly. Amen.
JUDGING OTHERS OR FRUIT INSPECTION
It is so easy to fall into the attitude of being judgmental. We quickly start stereotyping, looking down on other races and nationalities. When I find myself becoming prejudice, I remind myself of the saying, “We all bleed the same.” That means simply that we are all of the human race.
The same can be said of sin. Sin is an act of disobedience from God’s commandment. God’s last commandment was to love one another; that makes being prejudice difficult. The church, Christianity, easily points out the sin of others. They condemn one another by judging each others actions. Gossiping, other known as the prayer chain, is a sin. Murder is a sin. God says that sin is sin no matter what the offense. So we are all on the same playing field… Guilty!
Remember, it is so easy to fall into being judge and jury. We justify our actions by claiming to be fruit watchers, meaning are others in our flock bearing good fruit or bad fruit. This is a fine line and I recommend letting God’s Holy Spirit to do the finger pointing. Keep what fruit you see to yourself and give it over to God. God is really good at being God.
Turning the other cheek while defusing a harmful situation in love
Matthew 5:38-42, “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
Romans 12:19, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.”
I hate nothing more than doing something the right way and others accuse me of doing otherwise. I get very angry and want vengeance. I want to fight fire with fire. Crushing my opponent is my human nature. I was born with the skills of being stubborn or as I’d like to think, a born leader.
Today I’m learning from two sources on how to keep my cool under pressure. The first is the Bible. Unless you’ve lived under a rock in a Geico commercial, you know the saying, “Turn the other cheek.” Many Christians have justified when not to turn the other cheek and to some degree I agree with them. When it comes to sparing your life or the life of others, but at the same time, Acts 7:59 tells us that Stephen only called on the Lord and he said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He truly turned the other cheek and committed his spirit to God. In view of Stephen, it is up to God to have vengeance on our enemies.
The Tao has a similar lesson to be learned but I believe they show us how to not be aggressive and not passive but how to defuse the situation while turning the other cheek.
My reading in the Daily Tao is “Look them directly in the eyes and establish soul-to-soul contact. Ignore accusations and insults. Sidestep the destructive force. State your position calmly, without anger. Be gentle yet firm, and remember that the goal of conflict resolution in the Tao is not to humiliate the other party, but to transform potential harm into harmony.”
I’m not saying that I have any of the answers. I’m learning too that there are many views that lead to a similar outcome. If the world of Religion stopped and looked at each other’s lessons, we’d find that we would be very similar. We need to remember that the majority of who get heard in this world is the extremist and they do not accurately represent Buddhism, Muslim, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Native American or the heart of any religion.
What do we do now? I say share your faith in your actions. We do not need to defend our God; He’s a big God and can take care of Himself. Stop getting over zealous and allow love to be our message to the world. Christ didn’t heal only the ones who confessed their sins. The Bible says He healed all who came to Him and that He had compassion upon the multitude. Matthew 14:14When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.”
If we are to be like Christ than I suggest we follow His example. Christ said, “This I command you, that you love one another.” John 15:17.
My summary: We are to state our position without anger and stand firm, attempting to turn a potentially harmful situation into harmony. No matter how the situation may turn, we are to turn the other cheek while giving our aggressive and vengeful spirit over to God. In everything life may hand us, we must remember that our heart needs to be a reflection of Christ’s heart; loving one another and having compassion upon the multitude without pointing a finger at their wrong doings.
New Hope Bishop, Inc.© 2017