Sunday, October 12, 2014
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2 Timothy 4:1 KJV)
Paul is writing Timothy, giving instructions on what to do once Paul can no longer offer advice. This letter has been shared for two millennium and continues to be excellent advice. Our ministry may not be the same as Timothy’s, but we all have one and need to be reminded that our authority remains our Lord.
We know what the Lord requires:
And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, (Deuteronomy 10:12 KJV)
He reminds us in other verses:
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8 KJV)
He tells us that’s the most important commandment, and with one other all law and prophecy is founded:
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV)
If we can’t get that first one, how can we possible get the second? Just as the lawyer, we tempt our Lord and ask for definitions of "neighbor":
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? (Luke 10:25-29 KJV)
Remember Jesus’ answer in Luke 10:30-37. Mercy. Having compassion when it is within our power to harm. By ignoring the injured man, those who passed by actually harmed him. The lawyer recognized the answer, but we’re not told if he followed Jesus’ instructions:
And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. (Luke 10:37 KJV)
Sounds simple, doesn’t it. Go, and do thou likewise. See the need, be compassionate, do good instead of nothing and understand that doing so fulfills God’s requirement.
Or – be the gray, shadowed, figure in the above graphic, walking away from God commandments – and His blessings.