Thursday, June 2, 2016
Bless Them that Curse You
Matthew 5: 44
When you have been falsely accused, can you respond in a manner that says I love you?
Most of us when falsely accused will respond defensively, and desire to set the record straight. Is this the way Christ has taught us to respond?
Christ showed us another way in Matthew 5: 44. It says: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you;”
This is a difficult command for many of us because when we are hurt or have been falsely accused, we receive it personally. Christ too could have reacted against those who crucified Him, but He chose to forgive them while He hung on the Cross.
Perhaps we should seek the Lord in prayer for His help in showing love to others and blessing them through prayer. Consider a prayer like this:
‘Father, I ask your help to be able to show your Love through blessing others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.’
Our responses in many situations are what you might call ‘reactionary’. Often these reactions are defensive, and if you took a close look at them, those defensive reactions could easily become a curse. That brings us to a difficult question, what would Jesus do?
In Matthew 5:44 He said to ‘Forgive’, and he also demonstrated this when He suffered the painful cross and said in Luke 23:34 when He said “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
It is very difficult to forgive, but that is what Jesus wants us to do. A thought about this—does that mean we roll over and play dead? No—in forgiving we need to pray. Christ prayed to the Father when he was hung on the Cross of Calvary. We need to pray for others, and for our heart our responding to them. We try to fight the battle, but it is best to start on our knees, forgiving, and standing for the truth, letting God direct us His way.
I would like to share another thought about forgiving, forgiving frees a person. I have seen many times when one forgives, or one asks forgiveness, the shackles that kept a barrier up for sometimes many years are removed. This is of importance in Day to Day personal relationships in families, Parents to Children and vise versa, and other personal relationships—family, friend, or business. Again—ask the Lord to help you forgive, and then consider blessing the other when you do.
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Have you ever met a person who is having a bad day?
Probably most of us have met a person like that. You know, there a many ways we could respond to them, but I would like you to consider the following. Find a way to bless the other person and help them smile. It just may bring a ray of encouragement and sunshine to them.
There is a song that says “Make me a blessing to someone today”. Think about it. Perhaps that should be our prayer.
Father, I ask you to help me bless my friend who is having a bad day. May that blessing be encouragement that will help him to smile. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Take a moment and reflect on the following question—How alert are we to what concerns others—or are we really focused on our own personal interests? In all honesty—what would bring more fulfillment to you—your personal interests or taking the time to help someone else?
When we bless others, we may find significant fulfilment in our personal life—a fulfilment that helps us reach out to more people. Maybe that is why our Lord encouraged us to bless others—no matter the situation.
Posted by Lewis Turner at 2:03 PM
Monday, November 23, 2015
Praise-Thanksgiving Prayer 46
Martin Luther once said "In thanksgiving we recount blessings received, and thus strengthen our confidence and enable ourselves to wait trustingly for what we pray."
Praise and thanksgiving prayer is important. It can be a simple affirmation of love to God. Ps 18:1 gives an example: "I will love you, O Lord, my salvation". If you read the Psalms, you will be encouraged to be thankful, as you will see other times that thanksgiving was given to God. They will help you as you pray.
Father, Thanksgiving is not always come easy, but your word was given to help us. May we learn from your word so we can offer thanksgiving from our heart.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
Take time to list a few blessings: __________________________________________
Search the Psalms for thankfulness given by the writers of the Psalms and write down how that thankfulness encouraged the Psalmist: ______________________________
Now look over your list of blessings, how being thankful encourage you?
Posted by Lewis Turner at 5:36 AM
Friday, November 6, 2015
John 15:13, Rom 12:14
Vietnam veterans were deeply hurt when protesters did not respect them.
The protesters had forgotten that our freedoms come with a cost, one which we fought to preserve, and some gave their lives to protect those freedoms. The Bible says in John 15:13 that ‘Greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends.”
Yes, veterans have experienced a rejection of that love as a country. Turning to God’s way, we should forgive and find ways to bless. Rom 12:14 says “Bless them that persecute you; bless, and curse not.”
Fortunately, our country is now honoring its veterans. Still, all of us who are veterans should consider this prayer:
Father, help me to continually find ways to bless my country. I forgive those who hurt us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Why is important to honor our veterans?
What happened to our country when we did not honor our veterans?
Posted by Lewis Turner at 1:19 PM
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Listing to God Speaking Through Others
I Cor 12 vs 14 and 18
What keeps us back from accepting the vision that God has given others? Are we making our selves a judge of another person’s calling or dreams? Or is it that it does not fit our personal focus?
The Bible says in I Corinthians 12: 14. For the body is not one member, but many…in verse 18 it says … God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
Now consider that if someone who carries the gospel, or the foot, should to say to the eye—I do not need you—don’t you think it would stumble? That is similar to not accepting a vision of someone else in the body of Christ.
What should we do? Here is a prayer to consider: Father, I ask you to help me listen to you speaking through others who love you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Reflection situation and questions:
The following situation is often true. Years ago in College, one summer I sold Bible books, and occasionally I would ask others, what do you believe. They stated that they would have to ask their minister.
So—it was the minister who told them what they believed—now lets take this further—when they hear someone share about what they heard from the Lord, and that person is not an ‘Ordained minister’ they may not accept what is said as from the Lord. That is something that may have been taught—teaching that only the preacher can do--not just little me or someone else--only the minister with a title.
The Lord does not speak just to ministers—He speaks to all who seek with pure and contrite heart. When He speaks it may be something to guide us. It may be like the eye which is there to guide us.
Have we really stopped to consider that when we do not listen—to others speaking about what they have learned from the Lord through God’s Word—that it could be like saying to the eye we do not need you?
How does this apply to us today?
How can we encourage people to listen to others who spend time in God’s word?
Posted by Lewis Turner at 8:50 AM