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Today's Reading: Matthew 5: 21-26
Please click this link to read John 5: 21-26
With the living out of a life of heaven - the beatitudes, we can become the salt and the light of the world. Here in this passage is the first illustration of how we can become to be more like Christ in our life changing process.
As N.T. Wright says:
It begins with smouldering anger against someone very close to you. All right, it may not result in murder; but the point of the commandment against murder was not that you should stop short of killing someone, but that you should never get near even the thought that you wish they were dead. Every time you decide to let your anger smoulder on inside you, you are becoming a little less than fully human.
What's the alternative? Jesus offers two remarkably specific and practical commands. Be reconciled; make friends. How simple that is - and yet how hugely difficult and costly!
In particular - and this is very striking - reconciliation takes precedence even over worship...The point is that you must live, day by day, in such a way that when you come to worship there is no anger between you and your neighbour, your sister, your brother.
Christlikeness is a change of your character, from anger to meek, from killing to reconcile, from hate to love. You are not able to do that, only if you are more and more close to Jesus each day that He can lead you to be that naturally. It's not the "doing", but the "being"! Your being with Jesus each day can change your inner "being"!
Have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage of scripture we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe"
What I heard from Jesus today is: To kill or to reconcile is your choice!
According to Jesus in this passage, you do not need to really kill a person but you can kill someone if you terminate a relationship with that person. Usually it starts with some kind of misunderstanding, bitterness or anger. You do not want to see that guy, don't want to talk to him and you even want him "dead". Die of an heart attack, cancer or any kind of sickness. You just want to wipe that person out of this earth!
But, if we go through the process of the Beatitudes. We start with the two things, the first two blessings that we are able to do. First, to admit that you are poor in spirit, you see your own sins. Then, you mourn for your sins, repent, confess, being cleansed by the blood of Christ and come back to the kingdom of heaven. Then, you can start the third one in the beatitudes, your first sign of more like Jesus: meek. To be more like Jesus you will become what Jesus says who He is:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Matthew 11: 28-30
You come more closer to Jesus each day and let Him be your Lord and King. Then the power of His Kingdom will change you. You can control your anger and you can forgive. Then you can reconcile with those whom you want to "kill" or who want to kill you!
Remember, you cannot do that! Only if you go through the first to the third blessings in the Beatitude then you have a chance to do that. Because it is Jesus who is your Lord and King lead you to do that.
To kill or to reconcile is your choice!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Help us not to choose to kill but only reconcile. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
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Chinese praise song - 愛是不保留 Unreserved Love