Showing posts with label Mercy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mercy. Show all posts

Turning The Other Cheek

Text: Matthew 5:38-39, 18:21-35; Ephesians 4:20-32; Philippians 4:8

Key Verse: “…And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

If for every time someone offends us we retaliate, the world would be in utter chaos by now. Forgiveness, as difficult as it is to yield to, is a significant virtue that must never leave our hearts.

Humans have a tendency to do evil and hence, we err. We step on others’ toes, speak ill of our neighbors, betray our friends, disappoint our siblings, dishonor our parents, embarrass our families, and the list goes on. But as Christians, our disposition ought to be different.

Psalms 130:3 says, “If thou, Lord shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” For a fact, the answer is none. “For all have sinned and come short the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).

However, the Bible records something wonderful for everyone to rejoice in. Next to John 3:16; and John 1:12, among other verses, Romans 5:6-8 remains one of my favorites that give me so much joy whenever I meditate on it:

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

“But God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

If God Almighty, the Righteous King of glory could look pass our debasement, filth and faults, and chose to forgive us all our sins by sending His only begotten Son to redeem us through His blood (Ephesians 1:7), why can’t we do same to others? It’s difficult, right? This is the very reason we must forgive because the world’s peaceful coexistence depends on it.

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” (Matthew 5:38). Ye must also understand that an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind, and a tooth for a tooth leaves everyone with toothache and deprives of the full satisfaction of eating meat.

Hence, our Lord Jesus Christ, himself being an embodiment of love and forgiveness, commands us to forgive. He says in Matthew 5:39 that, “But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

How easy has it been in turning the other cheek? Turning the other cheek implies bearing and overlooking whatever wrong others might have done to us. It implies forgetting faults and giving others the benefit of a new start, a new relationship opportunity.

Moreover, turning the other cheek, I don’t believe, means you mustn’t get angry when someone hurts you (unless you have the grace not to). Let’s be honest with ourselves, who wouldn’t be angry? I get angry and feel bad when someone hurts and insults me but I am careful not to sin and allow the ill feelings linger in my heart.

Ever since I came to know the Lord my heart has been weak in harboring grudges. In fact, it detests them that is why I always do my best by God’s grace not to offend anyone (follow peace with all men – Hebrews 12:14; Romans 12:18) and wouldn’t do or say anything to make others be inclined to act badly towards me.

We all should know the place of forgiveness in our Christian life and how it affects our prayers. “Therefore if thou bring thy gift (prayers, petition, sacrifice or praise, tithes, offerings, etc) to the altar, and rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).

Whenever our thoughts, feelings and interactions aren’t right toward others, we are hindered from boldly approaching the throne of grace to obtain mercy and finding grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

God is as much concerned about our relationship with one another as He is our relationship with Him. This is why we see in Matthew 6:14-15 that, “if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

The bottom line is this: forgive and keep on forgiving. Forgive today, forgive tomorrow, forgive always, even more than seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22).

Finally brethren, if anyone at all has wronged you so badly that it hurts to your marrow, go and tell him or her his or her faults between you and him or her alone: “if he or she shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother or sister or friend…” (Matthew 18:15-17).

Everyone deserves forgiveness, even you and even me. Turn the other cheek today; let love thrive, let peace reign. And in all, ‘my beloved brethren, do not err.’

*** Written by Michael Olajubu aka Jacobs Adewale (Admin) ***

...building the body of Christ

A Testimony Of God’s Love And Faithfulness

Text: John 3:16; John 15:9-13; 2 Timothy 2:13

August 1st, 2008 is a day I will forever remember in my lifetime. It was a day my dad and I narrowly escaped death; that was before my dad eventually was caught up into the clouds in May, 2015. Not that we were truly worthy to be alive that day but ‘God commandeth His love towards us…’ and showed us His grace, mercy and faithfulness.

I was trying to gain admission into a University in my state of origin. I had done the Post University Matriculation Examination and got a good grade that surpassed even the cutoff marks. Later did I discover that I couldn’t gain the admission because my choice of course was one of such that hadn’t been accredited by the National University Regulatory body. Hence, no student could be admitted to the University for that course.

My dad and I had traveled to meet a sister-in-law of his nephew, who was one of the University’s Heads of Departments at that time if she could assist in any way. Our effort was futile and I believed and still believe today that the disappointment was to fulfill God’s purpose and plan for my life.

On our way back home, a truck at a distance away was slowly coming towards our direction but at the left lane of the road. We were at the right and on seeing a terrible pothole at our lane, my dad sped up so as to take the left lane before the truck was close and avert the pothole. We had almost gotten to the spot of the pothole while on the left lane, only for the truck driver to also open the throttle and aimed for a collision.

My dad was caught unawares but managed to swerve back to the right lane. And because we were at top speed, my dad couldn’t balance the car and had to make several swerves to the right and to the left and to the right and so on till the car somersaulted into a roadside ditch.

Truth be told, I was dumbfounded and good as gone in my mind. I had felt that was the end but somehow, I was breathing and because we had out seat-belts on, we didn’t sustain any major injuries. My dad regained composure and asked if I was okay. I simply nodded in the affirmative and on realizing that something terrible had just happened the tears couldn’t be caged. They came freely. And the rest was history.

This indeed is a testimony of God’s love and faithfulness towards me and dad. Those who lose their lives on daily basis on the road sometimes don’t necessarily go through similar ordeal and they are no more. But here I am sharing this testimony, having no doubt whatsoever that God loves me. And He loves you too!

Our death has been paid for at the Cross by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And no sudden death can ever overcome a true child of God. I can tell you that this incident strongly reaffirms my faith in believing that death by accident (in whatever shape or form) has no power over me.

Undoubtedly, everyone has a testimony to share about God’s love and faithfulness in their lives and family. Only an ingrate would say God hasn’t been good and faithful to him or her. For by what power and might do we breathe and sustain our heartbeats if not for God’s? By what intelligence do we go out and come in daily without being hurt and harmed if not for God’s?

A retired pastor when asked to talk about the greatest lesson he had learnt during his over fifty years of preaching and ministry. He said, “I have thought about it… and boiled it down to the one thing that has made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials.

“The one thing I can rely on when tears, heartbreak, pain, fear and sorrow paralyze me… the one thing that always comforts me: Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.”

It’s no doubt that Jesus loves you and me. He loves us enough to lay down His life for you and me at Calvary. For “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”. And “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 15:13; 3:16).

We are alive today only because of His grace. “It is of the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed, because his compassion fail not. They are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23). Great is thy faithfulness O God!

I have experienced His faithfulness and still do. I am a living testimony; O, yes I am. Have you also experienced God’s faithfulness, love and kindness in your life? Has He been good to you, to your friends and your family? Then don’t keep it to yourself. Tell of His goodness and bless His holy name.

“Let us lift up our hearts with our hands unto God in the heavens” to praise and worship His Majesty. “O, give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good and His mercies endureth forever… To Him alone who doeth great wonders: for His mercy endureth forever…” (Lamentations 3:41; Psalms 136:1-26).

Blessed be the name of the Lord! Amen.

*** Written by Jacobs Adewale (Admin) ***

...building the body of Christ