My apologies for the sudden absence! The blog hop meant a huge energy outlay for me so when it finished, I sort went comatose for a few days. (smile) I still have a bit of a bloggy hangover!
For those who have recently joined this blog, I would like to reiterate the rationale for the current theme of "God Thoughts." As the turn of the year rolled around all thoughts turned to new year resolutions. I felt my old familiar camel "humph" arising so I took it to Jesus. I didn't want to make a resolution and two weeks later have forgotten about it. What we decided was to not have a resolution, but rather a focus for the year. Hopefully I can keep my focus. I want to learn to think God's thoughts...how does one do that? Paul urges us to "learn (or find out) what pleases God" (Eph. 5:10). So, it must be possible, but how does one do that?
Several days elapsed and then, I didn't hear an audible voice, but a profound "knowing" was dropped into my spirit: "Read the red print!" Oh, duh! Jesus only said what He heard the Father say...so of course, the red print in my Bible connoting that Jesus spoke these words...they would be God's thoughts! If I want to learn to think God thoughts all I need to do is read the red print. What could be more obvious--hiding in plain sight. Then shortly I received an email that challenged me to "Memorize the Mount," the Sermon on The Mount. I have been, and that is the grist for the "God Thoughts."
My Theory: This is a year of politics and in Jesus time the air was electric with politics. I suspect that the things Jesus said will lead us to an understanding of His Kingdom "platform," and it will look radically different from today's political platforms! I am alluding here to the scripture that says, "the govenment will be upon His shoulders," Isaiah 9:6.
Today's God Thought: Matthew 5:38-39 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."
That is radical. I don't take kindly to being slapped around so I went to Jesus with more scripture. What about this? "Resist the devil and he will flee" James 4:7. What do we have going here? This will take some pondering...
I think this is one of those times that requires the two edged sword of the Spirit to divide between bone and marrow! I puzzled and pondered and then the Holy Spirit dropped it in my mind...thank you Holy Spirit! What dawned on me is that in Matthew, I think "the one who is evil" means the person who is doing an evil thing...don't engage that person in a smack down. The one we are to resist is the one behind him who is taking advantage of the person's weakness, wound or vulnerability and is pushing him to do an evil thing--i.e. the devil. He is the one we are to resist, not the person. We are not to engage with the symptom, we are to spend our energy resisting the cause of the symptom. The pain that is in our face, sometimes literally, can distract us from the real cause and we end up spending our energies fighting people when we should be fighting principalities and powers in high places. The person doing an evil thing is also a victim of the devil whether or not he is aware of it. So in Jesus Kingdom, He will deal the very cause of evil so that the symptom (the evil that slaps us in the face) is no longer be present! Love it!
I often wondered where people got the idea of "love the sinner but not the sin"--maybe this is it--along with "love your enemies and do good to those who persecute you," Matthew 5:44. If you know of other scriptures that support the idea of loving the sinner but not the sin I would be interested in what they are.