“Jesus is more than enough for us”, we sing in worship on Sunday. “Jesus paid it all” we gratefully proclaim. Jesus paid the price for all our sins. That means we are redeemed from the debt of our own sin. We are free to live, free to dance, free to do whatever we please. Wait, what?!? We are not free to do whatever we please. That’s what the world thinks at times, isn’t it?
Because of Jesus, we are now free to come to the very throne of God and ask what HE wants for what He wants is for His best work to be done in us. His work is HIS salvation for us along with His growing character in us.
David’s prayer to God, asking for forgiveness of his sins is a picture of sin resolved with life restored to the full, only by the grace of God. His prayer of repentance and asking for renewal is this:
“Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
9 Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.”
When we go deeper into what Jesus taught on the mountain to listening ears and seeing eyes of understanding, we discover our “freedom” is the right not to sin again with power and protection from our Savior and Lord! We are free to choose but we choose the way of the cross. We are free to choose Christ and walk in His ways. We are no longer under the bondage of sin that binds us to do evil’s bidding under the cover of darkness.
Truth always wins in the end. Truth has come to give light to what is right and good! When we ask for forgiveness, Jesus unwraps us, breaks all the chains of lies and deceptions and set us free to love like He loves. His love brings peace in and through all the troubles of this life. His love is unchangeable and eternal. There is nothing we can say or do to keep Him from loving us. Our next passage teaches us how to love like HE loves us. BE MORE THAN the world expects from you.
Matthew—The Law Fulfilled
Teaching about Revenge
38 “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. 40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. 41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. 42 Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.
Teaching about Love for Enemies
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
We must be MORE THAN, going the extra mile, in our character. We must respond and react in the way Jesus teaches us which will always be MORE THAN what worldview dictates to us. “Get even, have it your way, do only what is required to get by, love some, hate others”, are the character traits of the evil one, The Liar. We are to be and do the opposite according to the teachings of Jesus who is Truth.
Choose. You are free to choose. Choose this day whom you will serve. Choose well.
Abba, Father in Heaven,
There are many who lie about us behind our backs, assume the worst in us, spread rumors of hate and generally try to put down what You are doing in and through us to show your Truth. Help us to do exactly what you are teaching by your power in us of grace, mercy and unconditional love. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptations to seek revenge or to fight back but wholly lean on you. You are Truth. I choose Truth over lies.
In Jesus Name, Amen