Sunday, 21st August 2022
Pastor Deborah (Guest Speaker)
You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore, you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
If Misunderstood, Reconcile Quickly
The righteousness of the Pharisees is that if I did not break the law physically then I am not sinning. But Jesus was saying that as the people of the Kingdom, we must do more than that. When there is anger inside us, we may speak horrible things or do horrible things. When someone is in anger, the words coming out from our mouth will not be nice. Think about the things we say to our family, our parents, our children, our spouse… when we are in anger. In our anger, we do not restrict our tongues, and the tongue has the power of life of death. What we say can give life to someone and we can also kill someone.
Jesus was reminding to the disciples, if we ever hold anger or grudge against someone, we must quickly reconcile with them. I John 3:15 also says, ‘whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.’ It’s not about who is right or who is wrong, but it’s about if we can reconcile with others. When someone is upset about us, or when we are upset about someone, then we cannot bring peace to our relationships. When we say we love God, but we do not love our families, our friends, our brothers, and our sisters, then we are lying to God. If we cannot love the brothers and sisters, who we can see, then it’s impossible to love God, who we cannot see. The righteousness of the disciples of the Kingdom is determined by what is inside our hearts.
If Bullied, Do Not Take Revenge
What is the righteousness of the Pharisees? Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. In the Old Testament, it was acceptable to fight back, but Jesus said no. It’s not about revenge, because as the disciples of the Kingdom, we must surpass all these. We must not make the decision to hat someone, who wrongs us. Jesus also gave some examples, when someone slap you on the right, you should turn your left side for them. When we are being humiliated, oppressed, bullied, Jesus taught us not to fight back.
Revenge is in God, He looks after us, when we choose to let go, then God can avenge for us. Why are we willing to step back? Because we have faith in God, we are willing to believe that God will do something for us. It is not easy for us not to fight back for ourselves, and not to revenge. But we must know, we are not becoming a fool, we are letting God talk over. The standards Jesus has for the disciples of the Kingdom are always there. Be pure and simple, then the capacity in our hearts will expand. God already said, when we pray to God, He will help us, so do not live in self-accusation and oppression. When we feel oppressed, we are killing ourselves, so we must believe God can help us to do the impossible, not by our own strength.
If Hated, Continued to Love
The righteousness of the Pharisees is to hate those hate us, and only love those love us. But Jesus’ standards are different, He wants us to also love those who do not love us, then we can become the children of God. We must learn from God, our Father, who shines upon those good and bad. If we only love those love us, then we will be the same as the Pharisees, and those who do not believe in God. We must learn from our Father, to love those who hate us, it is very hard, but Jesus encourages us, we can do it. Jesus has made an example for us, He has shown it to us, there are so many people hate Jesus, but Jesus still has mercy for them.
If we only love those who love us, then what rewards are there for us? When we are willing to love those oppose us, then we will have reward. The reward will be so great that we will know it’s worth it! Let us continue to love, people might hate us and despise us, but God will help us so we can overcome, not by our own strength.
Pastor Kathy Poon
This is the stage of Upper Room, God is going to restore us, not to stay in the righteousness of the Pharisees, but the righteousness of the Kingdom. How do we receive salvation? By faith. But how can we enter the Kingdom of God? By strive to enter and receive the reward of God. Today’s message is about more than do not kill, there is more to what we see on the appearance. When we are in anger, we will easily say things that we may regret later. When we are high in our emotions and cannot hold our peace anymore, we must be alert in our hearts and our minds, proclaim in the Name of Jesus, and do not let our emotions hijack our mindset.
Furthermore, about not revenging, Romans 12:19 says, ‘Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.’ When we shift our focus from the people to God, we believe God will avenge for us. Our righteousness must overcome the righteousness of the Pharisees. We know God wants us to forgive, but we should not forgive only because this is what we have to do, but we must forgive from the hearts. When we know that we cannot do it from the hearts, then we must ask God to help us. Do not let bitterness and oppression fill our hearts, otherwise we would not be any different than the Pharisees.
Joshua 1:9 says, ‘have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’ God is still with us when we are in great anger. God is still with us when we are being wronged by people. God is still with us when we are in the deep darkness.