Thursday, May 26, 2011

Justice In Love, Not Malice Through Revenge

"And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." -1Thes. 5:14-18

Have you been hurt by someone? The closer the person, the greater the pain ...right? Have you ever been the haughty one ...frustrated with those who don't share your thinking, or standard?? Do you taste the bitter gile of revenge welling up within you? JUSTICE ....your heart screams!!! REVENGE ....the Spirit hears. Afraid ...the truth be known. Afraid of embarrassment, shame, and ridicule. Afraid of being overwhelmed by "them". "Pride" wells within us. It erodes the very foundations of who God intends for us to be. THIS is why we are not given a spirit of fear! Not by our Father. "Ignorance, and prejudice, and fear walk hand in hand" quote Neil Peart.

Paul was teaching the Thessalonians to be unified as much as possible, especially among brothers & sisters in Christ. But he said to "always seek to do good to one another and to everyone." He said to build others up, and not be vengeful. He charged them to "always" rejoice, trusting God's providence, praying always, and being thankful. These are character traits of God's redeemed. They are not the nature of those without Christ.

Wrath, bitterness, maliciousness, spitefulness, nor revenge, nor fear, nor ignorance ....have any place among the redeemed. We are bought and paid for, free from such fearful, angry, self-serving characteristics. We are free to depend, fully, upon the Father, and to do so in all things.

The redeemed rest easy ....not from exhaustion; that comes with a sinful, bitter heart ....but from trusting, and dependance upon, the Lord; born of a changed heart, a peace-loving heart ....a heart which desires the weary & restless to find the same refuge ...even those who have wronged us, or of whom we're afraid.

For "all" have sinned, and fall short of God's glory, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,