Sunday, 25 September 2016 18:00

Righteousness brings freedom

Chains are broken Chains are broken

The more I read the Bible and especially the Gospels; I see that Jesus called us to a new way of radical living. It’s much different than what we are seeing in the lives of Christians today. Jesus wants us to raise a higher standard. When Jesus came to earth and lived as a human, He raised the standard for us. Of course the only way that we can live by His standard is through His grace. We need to allow His life to live through us.

Once I received Jesus, I have wanted to live as He did. I want to see the same miracles He saw. We can’t live a mediocre life and expect extraordinary results. It just won’t happen. If we want to see the results Jesus saw we’ll have to align ourselves to what He taught us. Are you ready to aim higher?

Recently, I taught on Luke 6:27-36. Of course, before you can teach something, it must be speaking to you first. These verses began to jump out at me. I saw that Jesus wants us to live completely different from the world. There’s no way a person who doesn’t know Jesus could live up to the standard that’s described in these verses. It’s impossible because our instinct tells us to do the opposite.

Look at some of the claims Jesus made in these verses: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who spitefully use you. These are all very hard claims. I asked someone if this was even possible to live. He answered that there was absolutely no way. He’s not a believer and so for him there was just no possibility to attain to this.

Why would Jesus tell us how to live if it weren’t possible? Why would Jesus teach us something that was no use because of our lack of strength? Jesus would never do this. In fact, Jesus showed us that it’s possible to live this life. He did, so we can too. Jesus was righteous in every way and He demonstrated a righteous life that He expects us to live through His strength.

Jesus didn’t just say things to fill a page in His book. Jesus spoke truth, for He is truth. He was calling people to a higher standard of living and was showing us that it was and is possible. Jesus showed how He loved His enemies when he hung on the cross. He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34 Here’s proof that, we too, can love our enemies.

When thinking of someone who hates us usually we want to do something mean to them. Jesus taught us to do good to them. Can you think of someone that you could do good to today? Is there someone who hates you? Ask God what you can do for them. It is possible now that Jesus’ love flows through you. I dare you to even seek God at this moment for what you can do for someone that you know hates you. He’s more than willing to show you and it will bring great results to your spiritual life.

How can we bless someone who curses us? Doesn’t it make more sense to curse them back? Not in God’s Kingdom. His way of doing things is much different than ours. The good news is that God is a good God and only desires good things for us. So we just allow Him to flow through us. Our reaction now is to bless instead of curse. This can only happen when you have the Holy Spirit living in you and you allow His life to be seen through you. Let’s yield to Him more and more.

Pray for those who spitefully use you…How are we to pray? We must pray a blessing over the person that uses us as a stepping stone. In our human nature this too is impossible. It’s only through God’s grace that we can live this new life that He spoke about.

Jesus also says, “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewiseLuke 6:31. If we take this in line with what Jesus is teaching then we will see it this way. Do you want to be loved? Then you must love others. Do you want people to do good to you? Then you will have to do good to others. Do you desire to be blessed? Then you must bless others. Do you want people to be praying for you? Then pray for them. It is all about sowing and reaping. Treat people the way you want to be treated.

In the following verses Jesus continues to say if you just love, bless and do good to others who will do the same to you there’s no benefit. Jesus calls us to a righteousness that will only bring freedom. It’s a freedom from depression, hatred, bitterness, etc. It is the new law of love. As we love and respect others, even the ones who don’t deserve it, we will live happier lives. We will see how much God wants to bless us as we live out His covenant.

Take a look at the last part of verse 35, “and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.” Does this not show the Father’s heart? He wants us to be kind to absolutely everyone. He is, so why shouldn’t we?

My desire is to live this way 100% of the time. Let’s live a righteousness that brings freedom. It’s the life that Jesus taught. This kind of living will bring the freedom that you are waiting for. Let’s strive to live as Jesus taught us.

 

 

Steven Stoffelsen

Founder of House of Refuge Street Ministries

His book entitled, Time: Don’t let it Kill You” won a publishing contest and soon will be released by Word Alive Press.

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