16. Feb, 2018

Respect for the Lord brings respect for others

Respect for the Lord brings respect for others

 An American General said to his troops after racial slurs were given to some of them, "If you can't treat all people with respect then you need to get out." I would add or to get the Lord in their life to the point of total surrender. Yes even Christians can be guilty of this lack of respect for others. We had a dear friend who passed away recently, who lived with Downs Syndrome all her life, who was treated with disrespect by many in the Church. People turned away so they did not have to speak to her and pastors refused to baptize her. In my travels in this country I have met and hugged brothers in the Lord who have full-face tattoos and in their words, something they did in their silly days. But now they know the Lord and are strong in their faith. They know and appreciate the light as they have been in the darkness and never want to go back there now that they have experienced the light and seen how the power of the Lord has transformed lives. [Matthew 22:39]

A lady on TV said we have to work with the gangs to make them better people but gave no answer as to how that could happen. We know, I know there is power in that name Yeshua. The ex-gang members I have met know there is only one way to turn around the lives of people and that is within the knowledge of the Mighty councillor, the Prince of peace, the almighty God as He is the only way and the only truth and the only life worthy living. [John 14:6] The One who was before time and will be long after time has ended as He has the Knowledge and answer to all things. He made us [John 1:3] He gave us His breath and His life. [Genesis 2:7]

Our Pastor called for the churches to join together in a street outreach and none accepted his offer. God commands a blessing where there is unity, remember together we stand divided we fall. God wants unity within the Fellowships and if there is no unity, we have to ask who is keeping the churches part? Yes we may have different ideas and interpretation of the Word, like when we take communion or stand to sing or sit, or on the gifts of the Spirit but what we agree on is, Yeshua came to earth to show the way they crucified Him because of who He was, is and will always be. On the third day He rose from the grave to show the words of the Old Testament, of which He spoke many times, were true and are full of truth. So why not come together to further the Kingdom of God? After all there will be unity in heaven so why should it not start here and now? [Revelation 7:9]

Now we have His words recorded for all to see, so is there any reason not to listen, act and obey the commands of the Lord and all He demonstrated? We hear and read the Gospel week after week in our Churches and our homes and we still act as if they are just words; but they are life itself. [Psalm 119:50] God spoke and it was, He spoke and the heavens were formed and mankind was made, nothing was made without the knowledge of the Lord. [John 1:3]

Without these Words where would we be, still in the dark ages where power reigned and death came daily? But Yeshua changed all that when He came forth with a Light brighter than the Sun itself, a light that changes lives, a light that all our actions are revealed within. [Acts 26:13] The blackness of darkness has no hold on true followers of Yeshua. Yes we may slip, but fall? Never, as all we have to do is look into the eyes of the One who saves and know we are loved. But we also have to look upon all people through those same eyes of the Lord, the One who loves beyond measure, the One who reached out from the cross and asked for us to be forgiven. The day we accept Yeshua as Lord, the day we go throughout the Baptismal waters, God can and does change lives. He brings life where there was death. He brings love and respect for all, out of the darkness and into His light. [Isaiah 29:18]

Belonging to the family of God is not a club where we do nice things and have a nice time to feel good; it is a calling upon our lives, a calling into the Kingdom of God. From that day on our lives should change as we now have hearts of flesh, [Ezekiel 36:26] hearts circumcised to Him [Romans 2:29] and then we can cry out, “Change my heart Oh Lord and create a right spirit within me.” [Psalm 51:10] Powerful words that give powerful action to our lives, lives that can be broken, melted and molded into that which the Lord can use to further His Kingdom, not ours. Once saved people say we can't step outside His Word. Well we can, the moment we leave the church building and we start an argument then we have stepped outside His Word. The proof to this is in the Word, If we hate our brother (Sister or neighbour or mother or father) we are guilty of murder. [Matthew 5:21-22] Yes the Words of our Lord Himself. Again if we cannot treat people with full respect are we respecting our Lord and His sacrifice? And if not, what sort of witness are we to those we meet in the street or at work or wherever? We are not born into the Kingdom for our glory but to the glory of God, the One who saves heals and forgives. The One who was nailed to a piece of wood and abused before all the people and He still cried out "Forgive them Father" [Luke 23:34] He was silent before His accusers, are we? He gave up all for the salvation of the World, are we willing to give up something for our Saviour? Are we willing to accept all people? Are we ready to live in unity with all Believers or are our lives just continuing as they were before we were saved?

The second greatest commandment is to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. But what about the first commandment where we are told to love God with all out hearts mind and spirit. To live a life with the Lord is also to respect the One who gave us a heart to love others, who gave us a mind to think of others and a spirit to connect with the spirit of God so that we can carry out the first two. Yeshua is coming, He is returning and one day we will stand in His presence, [2 Corinthians 5:10] the creator of the Universe the One who holds all things together and the maker of mankind who has the right to command our respect for Him and for all those we encounter.

 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:12-17