A Time to Refrain

Jesus, the Word made flesh, exemplified the love of God in perfection.

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John 7:1 – After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.

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Let there be no doubt about it.  Jesus was the Word made flesh, He ALWAYS did those things that pleased His Father, which means He ALWAYS lived by faith in ALL He did, and walked in love, a lifestyle necessary to see one’s faith ALWAYS work. And that is the precise example of living Jesus set before us.  Now we are commanded to follow (imitate) Him in our earthly walk, and challenged with the great truth that we are not only to do the works Jesus did, but greater.  And yet, knowing we have been commanded to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature,” we read in our Text for Today that our prime example for how to walk in this life “would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill Him.”  Why would Jesus do such a thing?

I believe the answer is clear.  Think for a moment about Samson when he was approached by 3,000 men of Judah to give himself up to 1,000 Philistines to save the men of Judah.  Samson agreed, but he placed one demand on them.  Samson told the men of Judah that they should not “fall on him.”  He knew God would empower him to overcome the enemies of God’s people, but that He would NOT empower him to fight against or injure the men of Judah.  In the situation set forth in our Text for Today, Jesus knew the same thing.  He knew Father would deliver Him from the hands of enemies of the Jews, and that Father had a plan Jesus must fulfill for His people.  For that reason, Jesus would not walk among the Jews who sought to kill Him.  But what must we learn from this?

Men and women of God are set in ministry offices to serve the body of Christ, NOT to injure or hurt believers.  And regardless of how someone in ministry is treated by members of the body of Christ, he/she NEVER has liberty or right for revenge, or getting even.  The man/woman of God is called to walk in love.  We are told to live peaceably with others “as much as it lies within us.”  If there is something that would prevent you from peaceably walking with another person, you must avoid them in this earthly walk.  Samson did, Jesus did, Paul did, and so should we.  I have seen two extremes here; (1) the person who will avoid nothing, for they think themselves brave, but are in fact, foolish; (2) the person who runs from everything for they cannot, or will not, deal with conflict.  There is a time to stay, and there is a time to go.  Holy Spirit will guide you as to which you should do.  There is a time to do, and a time to refrain from doing.  Holy Spirit will guide you as to which you should do.  Obey Him. 

Manna for Today – John 7:1-24; John 14:12-17; 1 John 5:3; John 8:29; Ephesians 3:20; Romans 12:18

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