Helping Christians to follow Jesus through the racial injustice and civil unrest of recent weeks.
As believers, we want to live in the way of Jesus because we trust Him and think His way is the best. Not just for us but for others. And not just for after we die but for today. This day.
Jesus spoke words of wisdom, words to build an eternally significant life upon. The following statements are among Jesus' most famous.
"Treat others the same way you want them to treat you." (Jesus, Luke 6:31)
In other words, model change. But seriously consider the depth of this teaching.
I bring the next two passages up because there's a lot of division out there, and if you disagree with the loudest voices, it seems, you're not just wrong, but you'll be publicly excoriated as evil.
Yet Jesus cautions His followers, however strongly you protest against this issue for our times, or not,
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." (Jesus, Luke 6:36)
"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you." (Jesus, Luke 6:27)
These words have posed a challenge for every Christian that wants to honor Christ in his or her life.
Question, as a matter of faith, can YOU trust Jesus that His eternal word applies, even in this horrible situation? Is Jesus relevant to this matter today? Is He a Teacher to follow? Do you trust Him with this?
The answer to that, in case you struggle and need help is yes He is. All the way. Lord forgive our pride whenever we forget this.
Yet once you settle this trust issue, it becomes a love issue.
Do you love Jesus in a way that you want to obey Him in this?
Let me remind you of something... you do.
You may not be connected to that reality, but you do. You might be so frustrated or sad or afraid or you might be living out of the rage of the flesh but your new heart where the Holy Spirit indwells and liberates you loves the Lord and seeks to live for Him.
And love doesn't mean you have to "feel" love for them. Love is a choice of the heart to trust Jesus and act with Him. Love very often acts contrary in fact to one's feelings. It's hard to follow Jesus otherwise.
Still it is worthwhile and life-giving. The apostle Paul wrote,
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
These are not just romantic for newlyweds to read on their wedding day. These are for the dark times in life, when we want to scream or run or break something or hide.
How might these words apply when you hear of cases of brutality against innocent black men? Or how might love act when you hear of people who still "don't get it" like you do, and they really piss you off for not being all-in with you on the protests? How might love act when someone is upset with you?
We don't always want to apply Jesus' teachings when we're first confronted with them. They feel contrary to what we feel and to the wisdom what everyone else endorses.
Yet, now's perhaps the best time to listen, pray, trust Him and seek His guidance.