#DailyDevotion The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree
Luk 6:36-38 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (37) “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; (38) give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
We pick up today with the theme from yesterday which is the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Your Father in heaven is the tree and you are the apple. If you have faith in Jesus and you have the Holy Spirit, then what Jesus tells us shouldn’t be all that surprising. Be merciful even as your Father is merciful. Particularly, as your Father has been merciful to you, you should be merciful to others. Indeed I am certain that to the extent you believe your Father in heaven has been merciful to you and you believe this to be, you will be merciful to others in the same manner. Consider the woman who kissed Jesus’ feet. Simon the Pharisee was asked by Jesus who would love a some a lender more, a debtor who was forgiven little or a debtor who was forgiven much. Simon rightly replied, the one who owed much. So, likewise, those who realize they have been mercied by God more will be merciful more than those who think they needed less mercy.
Now a lot of people today often don’t understand Jesus saying, “Judge not and you will not be judged.” It’s apparently the only bible verse they know and they don’t know what it means. What it doesn’t mean is don’t correct someone of their sins. Instead, it should be taken with what follows, “condemn not and you will not be condemned.” Again, this doesn’t mean you don’t warn people concerning their sins. What it does mean we don’t judge people to be more guilty than ourselves. We don’t condemn people to hell (which is the purview of the Lord Jesus and his Bride, the Church, when it excommunicates someone). We do warn people they are headed in that direction. But who wants to be told that? Well, only believing Christians.
Now some prosperity preachers do like quoting verse thirty-eight to get people to give more to the Church. Well that’s not all completely wrong. We should give to the church if we believe that congregation is spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. We should support the preacher as the Lord has commanded him to make his living from preaching the good news. However, Jesus is not saying that you are going to be given to in this life times. Jesus told the rich young ruler, Luk 18:22 “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” If the Lord chooses to bless us in this life that is fine also, but the Lord promised treasure in heaven, i.e. at the resurrection of the dead. Such treasure does not rust, cannot be destroyed or waste away and cannot be stolen. If you are just looking for wealth and riches in this life, Christianity is probably not the way to go. But if you are seeking eternal rewards then following Jesus and Jesus’ commands here is the way to go.
As with yesterday, this is not pie in the sky dreaming for Jesus here and your life now. Jesus actually, with the power of the Holy Spirit working in you expects this type of life to flow from him to you towards others. It isn’t just fine sounding words or a goal to work towards. He expects it to be reflected in our lives today. If you find it lacking I suggest you go back to God being merciful to you. Why does God need to be merciful to you? What would happen to you if God were not merciful to you? What if God gave you what you actually deserved? Once you can answer these questions honestly, I think you will find it much easier to put these words of Jesus into practice.
Merciful God and Father, your mercies are new every morning though all we deserve from you is trials, trouble, and torture in this life and the next for all our sins against you. Grant us greater faith in your mercy towards us and give us a greater measure of your Spirit that we may do all that Jesus commands of us here. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.