Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 12, 2018
Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. Luke 11:42
Love, justice and generosity are all fruit from the tree of trusting and following Jesus. When we love the Lord with all our being, we want our fellow human beings to be treated fairly and we freely give to support these weightier matters on the heart of God. A generous heart flows from love for Jesus—to love what He loves: sharing the good news of His love and forgiveness, serving the sick, speaking up for the unborn, the unrecognized and the undervalued. We live our life not to be seen, but for others to feast on the abundant fruit of someone surrendered to Almighty God.
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day lacked spiritual life. Artificial, self-righteous, nit picky, grumpy living was their spiritual brand. A pretentious pious life weighed down by pride, lives to be seen by others as a morally superior saint. These first century faith posers gave 10% of all they owned to an ornate religious institution, while neglecting the more important issues of love and justice. Christ, who knows the heart of man, still calls us out to examine our motives. Why do we do what we do? Do we give for man’s applause or for praise from an audience of One—God?
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
Is your religion rote or a vibrant loving relationship with the Lord your God? If time with Christ is only a box to be checked on Sunday or in a daily quiet time, perhaps your beliefs need a fresh infusion of love and justice toward your Savior Jesus and toward your fellow man. A growing love relationship with the Lord results in a flavor of faith that is tasty and attractive. Your heart is God’s heart: care for the elderly, resource the poor and befriend a person different from you. Prison injustices are called out as modern day slavery and replaced with humane rehabilitation.
Generosity of love, justice and money show a stingy world a better way. Generosity is God. “He gave His only son” (John 3:16). Generous giving by followers of Jesus sound the alarm of love and justice that hopefully awakens slumbering sin sick souls, who only dream about being loved by God. Religious pride is ugly, Christian humility is beautiful. Religious harshness is abrasive, Christian mercy is compassionate. Religious hypocrisy turns people off, Christian vulnerability turns people on. Religious rigidness brings death, Christian love gives life. So what does the Lord require of you, His child? To act justly, love mercy, walk humbly and give generously!
“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17).
Heavenly Father, teach me to love what You love and hate what You hate, in Jesus’ name, amen.
When do I need to increase my generosity to support loving others by helping them be treated fairly?
A growing love relationship with the Lord results in a flavor of faith that is tasty and attractive. #WisdomHunters #lovejusticegenerosity
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