Wednesday, March 4, 2015
The Commands of Jesus: Reconcile
There has been a lot in the news lately about the visit of Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his upcoming speech to the United States Congress.
You see, our president didn't invite him, congress did, or more specifically, the Speaker of the House, John Boehner. And now, battle lines are being drawn, several dozen democrats has said they will not attend because Boehner "snubbed" our president. Really? Children!! We must learn to play nice with one another.
I watched Netanyahu's speech to AIPAC the other day. It sounded to me like the Prime Minister of Israel had a better grasp of things happening in the world than our congress does. And he spoke more eloquently and passionately than many of our politicians. It almost sounded like Netanyahu was following the advice . . . of Jesus.
"23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny." - Matthew 5:23-26
God loves relationships. He longs to see everyone in a loving, respectful, sacrificial relationships with one another. He ALWAYS sought after Israel's reconciling themselves to Him. Although He would punish them for a time because of their disobedience and stiff-necked attitude, He always accepted them back. And so it should be in OUR relationships.
I was talking with a young adult last week who said, "Say HI to Katie for me. I miss her." That person needs to look past any present day disagreements, or snubs, and look at the relationships that God has blessed her with. Netanyahu did that in his speech the other day saying "the reports of the demise of the Israeli - U.S. relationship is not only premature, they're just wrong!" We need to reconcile ALL of our relationships . . . today!!
Please, take the time to reconcile your relationships and do so today. Love one another as God first loved us (John 15:12). Doing so will bring glory to God.
Some closing words from Paul . . .
"9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[i] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." - Romans 12:9-21
PM Netanyahu's speech to AIPAC