Matthew – Fulfilled
When we are down, we ask, “Why doesn’t someone help us?” In those times of self pity brought on by a plethora of disappointment, we want our needs met for awhile. When we work hard, don’t get enough rest, we begin to fall deeper into self. This human malady leads us to be more and more critical of others because that takes the attention from our own failures to achieve. Workaholics seem to fall for this more than others. When others do not seem to work as hard as us (in our minds), we feel taken advantage of in life. This is not a good place to reside. We need to MOVE out of this place in our thoughts and leave all the baggage behind that goes with these feelings. We need to look up, repent and follow Jesus’ simple rule of holy thinking and behaving.
Matthew 7, The Message
A Simple Guide for Behavior
1-5 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
6 “Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege.
7-11 “Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?
12 “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.
What do we learn?
–“Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then GRAB the initiative and do it for THEM.” –Jesus
–Don’t pick on others. We reap what we sow. Don’t plant potatoes if you want carrots!
–Don’t bargain with God! What a ridiculous notion to think we have ANY bargaining chips in our pocket that would come close to what God gives!
–Ask God for what you need. This goes deeper than we think, for when we really think about what we NEED, we realize how blessed we already are. When we are direct with God, He enlightens our hearts and minds with our TRUE need. His love far exceeds what we think we need. His love is really all we need. Mm. I could go on…but you get it.
–Again, “Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then GRAB the initiative and do it for THEM.” –Jesus This is the bottom line of what Love God, Love Others means.
Dear Heavenly Father,
It is good to meditate on your teaching to us. I can only imagine what it meant to sit on that mountain slope and hear you explain the intent of Your Law after hearing how mankind messed it up over the years. Thank you for coming, explaining, loving, modeling the true nature of God and what HE wants for us. Thank you for laying down your life for us, dear Jesus. Thank you for being with us each day. Help us to grab the initiative to do for others…In Jesus Name, Amen.