Receive, is the word that comes to mind as I listen. “Receive from Me! I am a giving God – I want to give to you – You must just be open to receive from Me – I have given you so much over the years, you are aware of some of it – but I have given you so much more than you are aware of – not a wallet full of money, but a wallet of love, of companionship and fellowship and friendships with so many people – every day I have been giving – freely of My love and grace – just become more sensitive to me and My gifts and you will see so much more of Me and yes, I do desire communion with you, like with every other brother or sister – walk with me, like Adam walked with Me in the garden, draw near to Me and I will draw near to you!”
My reading in Luke 6:39-49. covers 2 sections.
Having laid down the true characteristics of a Christian and given direction on a number of interpersonal issues, so far in this sermon, Christ covers a whole section with a warning against being judgemental, not to focusing on another’s ability to follow and be obedient to what He has taught so far, which it is so easy to dol. As much as we must be generous in all other aspects of life, so much should we be generous towards the behaviour and actions of others, remembering that we are often more guilty than they of the very misdemeanors we accuse them of. The hyperbolic parable on judgement in vss 41,42 is well-known, but may I suggest, needs to be meditated well on.
He then reaches the closing section of His sermon in vss 43-49 which can be summarized as follows: the basic characteristic of a true Christian is that his/her heart has been changed cf vs 45. The measure of that is the fruit of a changed life, as I suggested last time a supernatural fruit, only possible from a changed heart. And the way to find that and maintain it comes from our attitude towards God’s word (vv 46-49). It is not sufficient to just read His word, or even study it. It must bring about a changed heart which is shown by the obedience of the person reading it and the work of the Spirit in empowering one.
So the real key to the Christian life is truly “Listening to Jesus”! Hearing what He is saying to you and then taking that to heart, asking Him to change your heart. Our hearts are so hard that we need all the power, on an ongoing basis, of God’s Spirit to change them. However He will not and cannot change them unless we desire to have them changed. A desire which must be matched by our ongoing seeking Him and His Spiritual power. In other words to “walk by the Spirit” as in Galatians.
So for me today, as I meditated on the instructions of not to judge, I became so convicted as to how shallowly I have viewed this command previously. How easy it is for me to slot people into categories and to see their faults, while forgetting mine completely. And of course dealing with that requires further Spiritual heart-surgery. I am so grateful to a God who is patient and prepared to give me renewed hope and strength every day. Thank you my dear Lord, for being such a giving God. I worship at the foot of Your throne.