Monday, May 12, 2014

You Seriously Want To Live Like Jesus?

How much do you seriously know about what Jesus taught? What is governing your life? What principles do you live by? How are you following Jesus if you don't even watch him? Do you realize that we live by a completely different standard than this world? If we know that, why are we living by the patterns of the world instead of the principles of the Kingdom?

The Kingdom of Jesus is much different than anything we find on this earth and, although there are many benefits we will not receive until the world to come, some things can be lived here and now. There are principles that have been put in place that, if acted upon, will improve our living, but they come at a cost. We have to let go of what we see and trust what Jesus told us.

One of the Kingdom principles could be considered the original anti-bullying policy. During Jesus' ministry, society was greatly divided. There were Jews and Samaritans, Pharisees and Sadducees, Herodians and common folk. They hated on each other. Each thought they knew better but they were focused only on their own interest. There was a great deal of judgment; hurtful, adversarial, causing damage to leading a good spiritual life. Jesus made it clear that we do not adhere to such patterns but instead live by a new governance:

Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37)

People who think they are in a better position than others, with better knowledge, better revelation, better standing with Father, better conduct, often bully those they think are in a lesser position. This blocks any further spiritual growth and maturity in these people because it doesn't work this way in the Kingdom. Such hearts cannot grow.

It seems a bit odd that we get to decide what measure we receive but there it is. "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you." If you don't want to be judged by people, stop judging them. If you don't want to be condemned, don't go around condemning others. If you want to receive forgiveness for all the stupid things you do, forgive others for their stupidity. What measure of this you receive from others will depend on what measure you live by. Jesus said to make it a generous measure:

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you. (v. 38)

People often use this in a financial sense but in context it has to do with our liberal generosity in not judging, not condemning and forgiving. Give forgiveness in a generous measure and it will be given back to you in the same measure. This is where we discover the incredible generosity of our Lord. That is the nature of the Kingdom, generosity in all things. It will be a good measure.

When measured out, it won't be fluffy, you won't be short changed or cheated in the matter. It will be packed down, like flour and sugar, so that as much as possible will be fit in. It will be shaken, like grain, so that it will settle together and as much as possible will be fit in. It will run over, wine and oil, so that it will be full capacity. That is generosity. But if that is what you want measured out to you, you need to be sure that is exactly how you are measuring it out to others; pressed down, shaken, and running over. Many will gladly do this with finances but will be scrooges in the things that matter most.

Each of us should have a great desire to be known as a generous people because Jesus has been incredibly generous to us. Any of us who think we have deserved his love, mercy, grace or forgiveness, are sadly lacking in a correct understanding and perspective. When we realize how generously it has been poured into us we will want to see the same being poured into the people we influence. Father will supernaturally touch their hearts and we will receive the same back from these people.

Considering this and playing back the events of last week, most of us will feel shame in the way we have treated others. We have not acted properly as citizens of the Kingdom of Jesus. Ask for forgiveness and consider this a new day to begin to live with a better understanding of how the principles of the Kingdom work. Give generously to others. Invest in them, because it is an investment. Throw away judgment and condemnation, which divide, and measure out a generous portion of love and forgiveness. Do it and be amazed how people change and your relations improve. Watch how many people will want to know more about Jesus.

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