Recently I had been pondering and praying about some behavior and attitude problems I have been struggling with. Specifically, ones that can express themselves in unhealthy ways, causing hurt to others.
As I was considering these things I felt The Holy Spirit remind me of Peter’s betrayal/denial of Christ; and how Jesus responded to it. I have always been hard on myself. Being one that condemns and beats myself up for moral failures, small and great.
I knew Jesus was bringing this to my attention in order to help me accept His mercy and not to expect criticism or judgement.
For He is merciful, gracious, not easily angered, full of patience…quite unlike myself and the world around us.
When He brought Peter’s denial to my attention though, I questioned how this had anything to do with me? I had not technically denied or betrayed Him.
He spoke this truth within me though: “ANY time I act outside of the concepts or boundaries of love; I betray and deny Him”.
When I respond or react in an unloving way, out of selfishness, unforgivness, mercilessly..and so forth..I am essentially doing it to Him.
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
Matthew 25:40, 45 ESV
This was very simple, yet revolutionary for me!! Leave it to Jesus to be so! ❤😊
And He brought all this to my attention in order to comfort, not discourage me; that just as He responded to Peter, in mercy, love, and forgiveness, so He responds to me. And so, I should do to others.
It also offers me a simple way of remembering, that when I treat others this way or that..with love or without; I likewise do so unto Him. It just really helps put things into a deeper perspective. Makes me take it more serious in a sense.
We are called to be His ambassadors. Abiding under His loving reign: the reign of love. Submitting to the authority of love. The King of Love. Faithful citizens of: The Way..of Love. ❤
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:34-35 ESV
“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
Romans 13:10 ESV
“So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
James 2:12-13 ESV
“Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times”.
Matthew 18:21-22 ESV
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”
John 15:9-17 ESV