27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Elvira, hearts on firah. Welcome to the fall. One of the ways mankind removes themselves from the blessings congregating in the Scriptures is avoiding the commandment our New Covenant calls for - Love God and Love One Another as we love ourself. We have issues with loving those who routinely are less than kind.
God has one policy only when dealing with us - to work with sinners. This is the Good News!!! Alleluia GOD! My step-grandfather Tate, an Episcopal Priest dealt with small Church policies, people and God. He routinely shrugged off what hindered love. Happier people don't fret so much what other people are doing. We are all called to work God's Plan for our lives.
God's purpose for our lives is hard to find for the long run. The day to day is easier. Sometimes reading the Beatitudes tells us what appeals to us is what God has in mind. Why should we listen to the voices telling us to not aspire? God has plans for us to eternity. Only God will determine how far we will go. If it's hard enough to determine our own God plan, why spend time trying to figure out the next person's God plan? God tells us work out our own plan of salvation with determination and discernment.
Romans 4 assures us if we listen to God, He credits our faith as righteousness. God tells us This IS Hard to determine. Maybe so we aren't peaking at someone else's!
Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
How will we know how great or small our destiny? We won't always. Gideon was surprised. Abraham was surprised to find out in old age. So was Moses. Jeremiah spoke Truth - His Plans for us are Good. For a Hope and a Future. Jesus said live for today. Find the gratitude. Always praying - we surely are one step up with God when we remember to ask for blessings and expect blessings. Personally, I avoid asking for God to damn something. Seems like wisdom to me.
We've all seen the movie "Kelly's Heroes" Donald Sutherland had that right - stop with the negative ways. Look at the examples of God. He sat with His people to teach. He made wine with His Mother. He brought friends to weddings. He even made sure the wine was good! Jesus never got up to scold the people who drank the wine and didn't feel the need to rebuke when the people said usually the bad wine is brought out when we have imbibed. Jesus could have used all kinds of examples - and He used the every day examples of life.
Jesus didn't scold often when people were trying to find God. His only rebuke was for personal power.
Should we have hope? Is this generation all bad? I had a P.S. Story about someone with vast resources. With a crook of the finger, a life can be toppled from the top. This Wonderful Man of God answers a key question. Does God still care who is in charge? Does God still think we deserve blessings? This Man choose to intervene when he could have sent forth a minion - easily. He called the young man "son" - he encouraged good behavior with a positive voice. He redirected. He offered a hand to encourage dignity and personal worth. He did this by saying we all need a time of mercy. And humor was invoked to set the tone for recovery. Laughter was genuine, spontaneous and appreciated. Words of Life. Jesus Son of God bless this Man. And those who understand how many blessings this uncovers.
God works with sinners. He sees us for who we are. He upbuilds us. He encourages us daily. Loves us. Saves us.
Blessed are you Lord God. And blessed be Your Son, Jesus. Thank You God for the merciful. Let us take the deep breathe of forgiveness given and give that to our hurts, aspirations, resting on being surprised each day for renewed mercies of God. He has plans for us that will take eternity to unfold. Give us the day. In Jesus. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †