Message from the Monthly Flyer August 2016
Hebrew 12, 2: ”Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of
our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne
Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus only performed good works and did the right thing. The criticism of the Pharisees and other adversaries never intimidated or stopped Him. He was not worried about what people were thinking about Him. But rather He was concerned about being at His Father’s business and He wanted His disciples to have assurance in Him. The Bible declares that whoever knows how to do well and fails to do so commits a sin (James 4, 17). As Christians we don’t need to find excuses to justify our bad behavior. Whatever circumstance we are going through in life, we can decide to adopt the attitude that is pleasing unto God without being influenced by what the people will say, or by the criticism of those around us. It is necessary that we do the right thing by walking in the righteousness of God, even if we will be marginalized by our loved ones for who we sacrifice so much. What God thinks about us is actually more important because our lives depend on Him alone. That is the reason why we must be obstinate to do that which is right in His sight. Jesus tells us in Matthew 10, 28; “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.“ Isaiah tells us: “I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?” (Isaiah 51:12-13).
The fear of men can cause us to lose our salvation. It is true that we should have a good testimony before men as children of God, but that does not mean that we have to compromise just because we want to please the people. Jesus says in Luke 6, 26: “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” In this verse, Jesus was rebuking the Pharisees and the scribes who were more worried about pleasing men but did not care as much to be pleasing to God. During His earthly ministry, Jesus was focused on a main target. He came to proclaim the kingdom of God, deliverance from sin and salvation, and He demonstrates the love in words, but also through the manifestation of His power. He despised the shame, the mockeries, the insults and the humiliations because He had a goal set through the cross of Calvary and He had to reach it even if it was going to cost Him His life. So He is encouraging us, His beloved children, to have the same determination in our Christian walk so that we can be pleasing unto Him in all things. He wants us to despise the rejection of men, to always do well and walk in righteousness and justice, regardless the winds and the storms that may arise in our lives. For if we are faithful in well doing just like Him, then we will also inherit the glory. He who wants to gain his life by seeking to please men will lose it. But he who loses his life, which means anyone who does not depend on His own human thinking, takes up his cross daily and denies himself to obey God’s commands on loving our neighbor and living in the righteousness of God will gain eternal life.
When we are faced with certain difficulties, the human reasoning sometimes tells us to seek for personal revenge by rendering evil for evil. But Proverb 26 verse 4 tells us this: “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him”. And further we read in verse 5: “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.” The Lord Jesus exhorts us to do the right thing to our neighbor regardless of who they are, including to those who offend us, and to pray for them in the hope that they will give up their wrong doings. That is how we respond to the foolish one. A Christian should be obstinate to do the right thing regardless of the circumstances. It is nothing new to suffer while trying to do nothing but the right thing. But the Bible tells us that it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is the will of God, than for doing something evil (1Peter 3, 17). In reality, it is a good sing to suffer for the right purpose in the Lord because it shows that we are the true followers and disciples of Jesus, for “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 2, 12). This should not discourage us, in the contrary. Let us rather rejoice because our names are written in the Book of life and our reward will be great if we persevere in our integrity. Following the same line of thoughts, the Word of God encourages us in James 1, 2-4 as follows: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” When we walk according to the Spirit of God, He will guide us in such a way that we will do the right thing and we will be able to flee the carnal temptation that wants to lead us into evil. So, let’s be obstinate to do good in the midst of the persecutions and tribulations, so that those who are trying to blame us will see our good conduct and will glorify our heavenly Father (1 Peter 2, 12; 1 Peter 3, 16). mt
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