Brothers and Sisters, all of us are at different places in our walk with Jesus. Sometimes it's difficult to hear a hard Truth, and there are other times we hear of God's love, mercy, and grace. What Ive been thinking about, is being strong in the Lord on His straight and narrow path.1) Ive been around believers who are so hard and unmerciful towards others. Those who lay down the law. If you mess up in sin, you are looked upon as though you committed the unforgivable sin, and they will not talk to you again because they view you as filthy. It's enough to give you a picture of the Father ready to beat you if you don't get it right. They lack love, mercy, compassion.2) I've been around those who don't take sin seriously and think God will overlook their wrongs if they don't repent. They have a warped sense of God's love. I may not be as mature in my walk with Jesus as some of you, and that doesn't mean I don't love Jesus or that I serve another Jesus. I seek Him with all of my heart, He alone knows that. As believers, aren't we supposed to be balanced? Isn't that the straight and narrow path? Holding firm to the convictions of the Holy Spirit, being obedient to God, yet being merciful, loving, and always ready to forgive. I read many passages where we are warned about sin. I also read many passages about the mercy and love of God. Please correct me if I'm wrong. From what I understand so far in the scriptures, Jesus rebuked the religious leaders and those who were purposely deceiving others. (Matthew 23 is an example) Yet Jesus told them in Matthew 21:31 that tax collectors and harlots would enter the kingdom of God before they do.Jesus sat down to minister to the drunks, the prostitutes, the wayward...He didn't partake of their sin, He shared the Gospel with them. If believers are seen doing that today, there are those in the body who look at them with evil suspicion. There's a time for everything, yes. 2 Timothy 3 tells us to turn away from people who continuously practice sin, refusing to repent....I understand that. Shouldn't we still pray for them? Love them? Jesus said to love our enemies and do good to those who despitefully use you and say all manner of evil against you.Without a doubt, I desire to obey Jesus because I love Him. If I ever err in anything, I desire to have a teachable spirit that is humble to repent.....and I know I have a long way to go. Thank you all for being patient with me, for your kindness, your love, your mercy....because I goof up at times, whether from zeal, or just being immature, not fully understanding.Just want to stay on the straight and narrow, not swinging hard to the left or to the right....doing justly, loving mercy, and loving others as Jesus loves us. Can any of you relate to what Im saying?
Not only can I relate but that was very well written dear sister!And I believe it to be consistent with what the scriptures reveal:)
sherri2....Ive been around believers who are so hard and unmerciful towards others. Those who lay down the law. If you mess up in sin, you are looked upon as though you committed the unforgivable sin, and they will not talk to you again because they view you as filthy.
As believers, aren't we supposed to be balanced? Isn't that the straight and narrow path? Holding firm to the convictions of the Holy Spirit, being obedient to God, yet being merciful, loving, and always ready to forgive.
Excellent posts, thanksJust like to add a few more thoughts.The Christian live is a process of growing and being sanctified. The more we experience God and His love for us the more we are able to love others.1 John 4:19 We love because He first loved us. 20If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.…Galatians 5v22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.BUT - we can not produce fruit ourselves, we can only bear fruit.The only way we can bear fruit is if we are connected to the Father through His Son."Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me" John 15v4
"Just want to stay on the straight and narrow, not swinging hard to the left or to the right....doing justly, loving mercy, and loving others as Jesus loves us. Can any of you relate to what Im saying?"Sister, I can definitely relate to what you are saying, and I believe that I have swung to both sides of the pendulum at times in my walk with the Lord. One of the sure signs of maturity is that we are walking in balance, and that can only be obtained by staying full of the Holy Spirit, abiding in Christ, and being rooted and grounded in the Word of God. In much of the Church today we are seeing imbalance in two main areas. Probably the most predominant area is the perversion of the grace of God. We accept all in their sin, but the truth is not being shared, that just as Jesus love was expressed in that He died for our sins, He demands that we repent and make a total break from sin. The true grace of God when taught correctly is not only unmerited favor, but it is also the power of God to be free from sin, and to overcome all sin in our lives. The other imbalance with many churches is in the area of deadly legalism. "The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." (2 Corinthians 3:6) This religious spirit is predominant with people that preach holiness, and are very hard on those that have sinned, but at the same time, they do not see the evil in their own hearts. These people lack mercy, and do not see their own need of mercy since they are self righteous. We are no longer following laws, rules, and regulations in order to be holy. We are not following a dead letter, but as born again children of God, the law of God has been written in our hearts. It is the "law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:2)The only way that we will ever have a balanced Christian life is to walk and be led by the Spirit of God and have a love for the truth, being quick to repent, and having a renewed mind that is in agreement with the will of God,set on obeying the Word of God. "Mercy and truth have met together;Righteousness and peace have kissed." (Psalm 85:10). "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ." (Ephesians 4:15).
Wow, thank you for all the great responses. Fletcher, your words are encouraging!Mr. Bill, I really don't know anything about Cornerstone church, but perhaps you meant it as a joke?Ron, your words are also encouraging!Markuskiwi and Mike, you both conveyed what I've tried to put into words. You both expressed, through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God all that I'm learning in Christ. I completely agree with everything you said. Thank you so much. There is wisdom in the multitude of counselors. By the way, if I put words in capital letters, Im not yelling, just emphasizing something, but in a gentle way. May we all grow up into Jesus, knitted together in His love, carrying our crosses. Grace and peace be multiplied to you all in Jesus name,