Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Subtle Murder

- 1 John 3:14-15

INTRODUCTION

The Lord came to the earth on a mission to die on the cross for the sins of the world, but that is not all that He accomplished through the cross. He also came to give mankind a greater revelation of the Father. The Bible says that the law was a shadow (Hebrews 10:1), but Christ was the image (2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3). This contrast is presented in Matthew chapter 5 where the Lord said, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time . . . But I say unto you” (Matthew 5:21-22; Matthew 5:27-28; Matthew 5:31-32; Matthew 5:33-34; Matthew 5:38-39; Matthew 5:43-44). In old time, the commandment concerned the act of murder, but now “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer” (Matthew 5:21-22; 1 John 3:15).

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

  • (For children): Saul hated David and tried to kill him (1 Samuel 18:8-11, 17; 1 Samuel 20:31-33). Yet, David did not hate him and spared his life (1 Samuel 24:11; 1 Samuel 26:8-9). Even after Saul’s death, David spoke kindly of him (2 Samuel 1:17, 23-25).
  • (For everyone): Murder springs from hatred. How did the Lord Jesus offer a more perfect revelation of the mind of God the Father by emphasizing the dangers of hatred?
  • Hatred compels one to murder, but love compels one to die for another. Which of these is a better representation of the nature of God?

PRAYER NEEDS

  • Thank the Lord for demonstrating the beauty of love.
  • Ask the Lord to help us to go beyond the letter of the law.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Love Solves the Problem

- Romans 13:9-10

INTRODUCTION

Many people, in the strength of their own flesh, seek to keep the law. Yet, the Bible says the law is “comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Strength of flesh has never been, nor ever will be, a sustaining strength to do right. Love, on the other hand, “covereth all sins” (Proverbs 10:12). Love refuses to murder, only executing righteous judgment in accordance with the will of God. We read in scripture that when murders abound, the love of many grows cold (Matthew 24:4-12). Abel could have lived another day had Cain loved the Lord and loved his brother more than he loved himself. The people of God are to be a people full of the love of God, and as such, they should place the utmost value upon the lives of the innocent.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS


  • (For children): When Joseph was governor of Egypt, he could have easily sought out revenge upon his brothers. They later asked his forgiveness (Genesis 50:15-21), but he had already forgiven them (Genesis 42:8, 21-24a; Genesis 45:14-15). Through this type of forgiveness, Joseph displayed his love of God.
  • (For everyone): Read Matthew 22:34-40. What concept is included in both commandments mentioned by the Lord Jesus? What did the Lord mean in verse 40 when He said, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”?
  • Are there people you would rather see dead? Are those individuals saved? How could love move you to desire for them to live rather than die?

PRAYER NEEDS


  • Ask the Lord to give you a greater love for those around you.
  • Ask God to help you understand that love spares life.