Walking the talk of being a Christian
Over the last few weeks I have written about the One the Lord sent, the Holy Spirit. I wrote of the gifts of the Spirit and I also wrote of the fruits of the Spirit. Both are such wonderful gifts of the Lord to guide, to help and turn our hearts from stone into hearts of flesh. [Ezekiel 11:19] Has anybody ever seen seeds in a stone? Or has anybody tried to water a stone and seen any growth come from it? The word clearly says the Lord will create in us a new heart not one of stone but one of flesh. One that can be written on, one that can be watered by the Holy Spirit with the rules and regulations of the Lord and the love God has. [2 Corinthians 3:3] Watered by His love and grace to enable us to live the lives He commands of us through what He did for us on the cross. And yet there are people, Christians even, who obviously ignore all the teachings of the word and operate well outside the boundaries the Lord has set.
When Yeshua was asked what is the greatest commandment, [Matthew 22:36] His answer [Matthew 22:37] was straight from the very scriptures that many people seem to ignore for one simple reason, they are in the Old Testament not the New. Yeshua said to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind and soul. The Holy Spirit was sent to us to help us do just that, love the Lord God with all our strength all our being. Yeshua Himself commanded us to do this when He answered the question.
Yeshua then said; the second is, love your neighbour as yourself. What a statement, love your neighbour, [Matthew 22:39] and who is our neighbour? Today we can relate His statement of the Good Samaritan to anybody you may come across. [Luke 10:30-37] Again, why is this so difficult to do when we have the power of God at our request to help us when the trouble comes? [2 Corinthians 6:7]
Well take this situation, and I know it is not everybody but it does serve to illustrate the point of loving God and loving our neighbour. One of my sons witnessed a person cut up on left turn to cross the path of other cars just to get in front. The driver then drove straight through a pedestrian crossing causing a woman and children to step back. When questioned on her actions she made these statements:
She told them to shut up because she knew the road rules. She was told she was wrong, and her reply? “I'm a Christian, I'm never wrong. If you went to church like me you would understand.”
And then there was a lady in the Post Office, upon hearing that the old lady in the queue next to her could not afford the postage, she paid it for her.
Now I believe there is a question here that Yeshua would have asked. One lady a Christian who not only clearly did wrong and used her Christianity to justify what she had done, and the other lady who did not reveal if she was a Christian or not yet paid a bill that someone else could not afford. I am sure Yeshua would have asked; which of these two ladies did the will of my Father? [Matthew 21:31] The one who said she was a Christian but clearly did not act like one or the one who gave out of her love and concern for the plight of the old lady?
We have to ask ourselves daily, are our actions those of someone following the rules laid down in the statement made by Yeshua when He said to love God and Love your neighbour? These statements of our Lord are, as I have said, straight from scripture from the First Testament. They are the commandments given at Mount Sinai when God spoke to Moses and gave him the Ten Commandments. Through God’s Holy Spirit He gives us the strength to overcome, [1 John 5:4] all things laid out in these commandments are a good starting point.
First commandment: I am the Lord your God and you shall have no other gods besides Me. The second commandment “You shall not make a carved image of anything and shall not bow down to them or serve them”. The third Commandment: Do not use the name of the Lord in a way that mistreats it. Fourth Commandment: Keep the Lord’s Day Holy as He has declared it Holy. All of these commandments are covered by what Yeshua said in answer to what was the greatest commandment. I see nothing wrong or difficult in keeping these commands when we have the Holy Spirit within us. [Exodus 20:1-11]
Then there are the other six commands - [Exodus 20:12-17] which are all covered by the statement of Yeshua when He said the second is to love your neighbour and then went on to say that all the law (in Hebrew-Teachings) hangs on these two commands. It is easy to see that one of these ladies was clearly not living within the bounds of the teachings of Yeshua.
When the people challenged Yeshua in what He was doing He turned to scripture, probably not so much as to justify what He was doing but explain why He was doing it. We should do the same, when challenged on something our reaction should not be to attack but to go to scripture to see if we are doing what Yeshua would want us to. I would like to suggest this is only possible if we are living a life of total surrender to the One who gave us the power from on high and that is Yeshua Himself. [Luke 24:49] The one who suffered, died and was buried and then rose again, not only to show whom He was but to show all things are possible in and through Him. [Philippians 4:13]
We are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God. [Romans 3:23] To say we are never wrong because we follow Yeshua is surely to take His place, as there is only one who is never wrong and that is God Himself. [Mark 10:18] May we at this time once more realise just who we are and the need we have to walk this life and to be ready for the next. Let us remember the words of our Lord Himself in these words: unless you are born again you cannot see the Kingdom of God. [John 3:3] He then said: “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” [John 3:5]
How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the LORDHow blessed are those who observe His testimonies Who seek Him with all their heart. They also do no unrighteousness; They walk in His ways.You have ordained Your precepts, That we should keep them diligently, Oh that my ways may be established to keep Your statutes. Then I shall not be ashamed When I look upon all Your commandments. I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgments.I shall keep Your statutes; Do not forsake me utterly! Psalm 119:1-8