VIDEO Suffering Afflictions and Going the Second Mile – Beginning with Moses: Christ in All the Scriptures

Suffering Afflictions and Going the Second Mile

I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. —Matthew 5:39

This verse reveals the humiliation of being a Christian. In the natural realm, if a person does not hit back, it is because he is a coward. But in the spiritual realm, it is the very evidence of the Son of God in him if he does not hit back. When you are insulted, you must not only not resent it, but you must make it an opportunity to exhibit the Son of God in your life. And you cannot imitate the nature of Jesus— it is either in you or it is not. A personal insult becomes an opportunity for a saint to reveal the incredible sweetness of the Lord Jesus.

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is not, “Do your duty,” but is, in effect, “Do what is not your duty.” It is not your duty to go the second mile, or to turn the other cheek, but Jesus said that if we are His disciples, we will always do these things. We will not say, “Oh well, I just can’t do any more, and I’ve been so misrepresented and misunderstood.” Every time I insist on having my own rights, I hurt the Son of God, while in fact I can prevent Jesus from being hurt if I will take the blow myself. That is the real meaning of filling “up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ…” (Colossians 1:24). A disciple realizes that it is his Lord’s honor that is at stake in his life, not his own honor.

Never look for righteousness in the other person, but never cease to be righteous yourself. We are always looking for justice, yet the essence of the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is— Never look for justice, but never cease to give it.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

I have no right to say I believe in God unless I order my life as under His all-seeing Eye. Disciples Indeed, 385 L


UPDATED with an important comment
I love this, and Oswald Chambers. But I do think this needs to be shared with a clear pastoral caveat that says that if a person is being abused in their intimate relationship, this does not mean they should turn the other cheek or ignore it. Sometimes battered women say nothing and do nothing about their abuse because of the way this verse has been misinterpreted.
Julie

Steven Lawson: Beginning with Moses: Christ in All the Scriptures

Hiding Our Hurts

The word of God . . . judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

I was guest-speaking in a local church and my topic was an honest story about presenting our brokenness before God and receiving the healing He wants to give. Before closing in prayer, the pastor stood in the center aisle, looked deeply into the eyes of his gathered congregants, and said, “As your pastor I have the privilege of seeing you midweek and hearing your heart-breaking stories of brokenness. Then in our weekend worship services, I have the pain of watching you hide your hurt away.”

My heart ached at the hidden hurts God came to heal. The writer of Hebrews describes the Word of God as alive and active. Many have understood this “word” to be the Bible, but it’s even more than that. Jesus is the living Word of God. He evaluates our thoughts and attitudes—and loves us still.

Jesus died to give us access to God’s presence, all the time. And while we all know it’s not wise to share everything with everyone, we also know that God intends His church be a place where we can live unapologetically as broken and forgiven followers of Christ. It’s to be a place where we “carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).

What are you hiding from others today? And how are you trying to hide from God as well? God sees us through Jesus. And He still loves us. Will we let Him?

Who will you prayerfully consider letting help you carry your burdens?

God sees us with the eyes of a Father.

By Elisa Morgan 

INSIGHT

Hebrews 4:12–13 has long been interpreted as referring to the Bible itself. And it’s certainly true that God’s Word is “alive and active.” But when we consider that in John 1:1–14 Jesus Himself is called the Word, we gain a fuller comprehension of how this Word can judge the “thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

As we become aware of God’s intimate knowledge of our hearts and motives, we might find that awareness intimidating. Yet this knowledge isn’t intended to drive us from God’s presence but rather to draw us to Him. In this same context of Hebrews 4, the writer points to Jesus, our “great high priest who has ascended into heaven” (v. 14). We may draw close to Him because He can “empathize with our weaknesses” (v. 15) and has Himself made the way for us to “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence” (v. 16).

As we learn to be increasingly open and honest with God, who knows every hidden corner of our hearts, we also gain confidence to be transparent with each other.

Tim Gustafson

Divine Truth

Psalm 32:8-10

The Lord doesn’t swoop down to pull us out of difficult situations, so how does He rescue and help us? Today’s verses remind us that when we don’t know which way to turn, the Word of God sheds light on the trouble we are facing and gives us divine instruction. His truth arms us with all the knowledge we need. The challenge, then, is how to apply what He has taught us.

It’s interesting that God says He will guide us with His eye (Psalm 32:8). Isn’t that just what fathers do? We’ve all experienced being aware of a parent or teacher’s watchful eye—and understanding the message that person was trying to convey through a certain look or expression. Perhaps we’ve even communicated instructions or sentiments that way ourselves.

God does not shout at us or send new epistles from heaven when He wants to instruct us. Most often, He quietly but precisely guides us through situations by showing us the truth of Scripture. Sometimes the Holy Spirit prompts us in the right direction, too. Either way, when God speaks to us, we need to listen and be still for a while with that information. Otherwise we’ll face the temptation to handle matters in our own way and time frame instead of His.

Remember that when the heavenly Father wants to lead you through something, it’s not to simply get you out of trouble. It’s to teach you obedience and transform you into the likeness of His Son. When you yield to Him, you will be able to rejoice in the midst of your troubles, knowing that He will bring you through them.

The Son of Man

“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.” (Revelation 14:14)

This is the last of some 87 New Testament references (84 in the four gospels, one in Acts, none in the epistles, two in Revelation) to Christ as the Son of man. Here we see the Son of man coming on a white cloud from heaven (just as He had ascended into heaven after His resurrection) as the conquering King of all the earth.

What a contrast is this to the first New Testament reference to the Son of man. “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). From humility and poverty on Earth to power and riches in heaven, and for all eternity—this was His journey when Christ left His heavenly glory to join the human family.

In between the poverty and the power lay the whole human experience, for He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Finally, as Son of man He must die for man’s sin, for “the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again” (Luke 24:7). Even in heaven He is still the Son of man, for Stephen saw Him thus: “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56).

There is, indeed, a great man in the glory! Christ called Himself “the Son of man” much more often than “the Son of God,” though He will eternally be both, the God/man. He delights to identify with those whom He has redeemed, for He “is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Hebrews 2:11). “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” asked Jesus. Then we say with Peter, “Thou art . . . the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13, 16). HMM

This do in remembrance of Me

Matthew 26:26-30

The same night in which he was betrayed our divine Lord instituted the sacred Supper, which is to his people the perpetual memorial of his death, and is to be celebrated till he shall come again.

Matthew 26:26

And as they were eating that is to say, while yet the Paschal feast was proceeding; so that the one feast might melt into the other

Matthew 26:26

He could not have meant that the bread was actually his body, for in his body he was sitting at the table, and he could not have two bodies. Nobody could misunderstand these words of Jesus unless they wished to do so, or were too devoid of reason to comprehend anything. Jesus meant evidently the bread represented his body, and should be to them in future the sign that he was really incarnate.

Matthew 26:27

As if he foresaw that some would take away the cup from the people, he expressly bade them all drink of it. The plainest language of command is no bond to those who are given over to the delusions of some.

Matthew 26:28

The cup was the instructive token of his blood, for it was filled with the blood of the grape. Jesus is meat and drink to his people; their necessary food, their dainty luxury; their staff of life, their exhilaration and joy. How sweet to reflect that the memorial of our dying Lord is not a funeral wailing, but a festival of rest; not a superstitious rite, but a simple, joyful commemoration. It is a pity that by kneeling some of our brethren have missed the instruction which an easy reclining or sitting posture would have given them,—in Jesus, believers have entered into rest.

Matthew 26:29

Symbols were not for him, though useful to us: we shall ere long with him enjoy the reality which the emblem could but feebly typify.

Matthew 26:30

Brave was the heart which could sing with death before him: surely that hymn was a battle psalm defying death and hell. In like manner let us sing in all times of trial and temptation, and so glorify our God.

1 Corinthians 11:23-29

The apostle Paul gives us a full account of this Supper, which he received by express revelation. He thus writes:—1 Corinthians 11:23-29.

1 Corinthians 11:29

For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily without faith, reverence, and sincerity of soul

1 Corinthians 11:29

eateth and drinketh damnation or condemnation

1 Corinthians 11:29

He insults the ordinance by staying in the emblem and seeing no further; his heart is not occupied with the death of Jesus, he does not use the Supper as the Lord intended. Let us pay great attention to this, and mind how we behave at the Lord’s table.

 

According to thy gracious word,

In meek humility,

This will I do, my dying Lord,

I will remember thee.

 

Thy body, broken for my sake,

My bread from heaven shall be;

Thy testamental cup I take,

And thus remember thee.

 

Have Selfish Personal Interest?

Chiefly them that walk after the flesh… and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed. (2 Peter 2:10)

Throughout history, the philosophers have pretty well agreed on the conclusion that selfish personal interest is the motive behind all human conduct.

The philosopher Epictetus illustrated his understanding with the fact that two dogs may romp on the lawn with every appearance of friendship until someone tosses a piece of raw meat between them. Instantly, their play turns into savage fight as each struggles to get the meat for himself. Let us not condemn the old thinker for comparing the conduct of men to animals. The Bible frequently does and, humbling as it may be to us, we humans often look bad by comparison.

If we would be wise in the wisdom of God we must face up to the truth that men and women are not basically good: they are basically evil and the essence of sin lies in their selfishness! Putting our own interests before the glory of God is sin in its Godward aspects, and the putting of our own interests before those of our fellow man is sin as it relates to society. By the Cross, Jesus Christ demonstrated pure, selfless love in its fullest perfection. When He died, He set a crown of beauty upon a God-centered life!

 

Burdens Cast On Him

“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Ps. 55:22

It is a heavy burden, roll it on Omnipotence. It is thy burden now, and it crushes thee; but when the Lord takes it, He will make nothing of it. If thou art called still to bear it, “he will sustain thee.” It will be on Him, and not on thee. Thou wilt be so upheld under it that the burden will be a blessing. Bring the Lord into the matter and thou wilt stand upright under that which in itself would bow thee down.

Our worst fear is lest our trial should drive us from the path of duty; but this the Lord will never suffer. If we are righteous before Him, He will not endure that our affliction should move us from our standing. In Jesus He accepts us as righteous, and in Jesus He will keep us so.

What about the present moment? Art thou going forth to this day’s trial alone? Are thy poor shoulders again to be galled with the oppressive load? Be not so foolish. Tell the Lord all about thy grief, and leave it with Him. Don’t cast your burden down, and then take it up again; but roll it on the Lord, and leave it there. Then shalt thou walk at large, a joyful and unburdened believer, singing the praises of thy great Burden-bearer.

 

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