A Devotional Word for Followers of Jesus, From Oswald Chambers

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“Settle matters quickly with your adversary…”  Matthew 5:25

June 30—”Our insistence in proving that we are right is nearly always an indication that there has been some point of disobedience…” (OC)

Oswald Chambers grounds his June 30 devotional on just the opening words of Matthew 5:25. But, his instruction to students preparing for ministry is so difficult for me personally that I had to immediately go back to the scriptures and immerse myself in the entire fifth chapter.  I will share just a few more verses from what Christians identify as, “The Sermon on the Mount.”

5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Murder

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. 

These instructions, directly from the mouth of Jesus, are difficult to understand and even more difficult to obey.  I resist strenuously applying them to myself.  I find it almost impossible to not think of someone else who is far more disobedient than I am. Oswald Chambers recognizes this struggle when he adds this additional instruction and application.

To see that my adversary gives me my rights is natural; but Jesus says that it is a matter of eternal and imperative importance to me that I pay my adversary what I owe him.  From our Lord’s standpoint it does not matter whether I am defrauded or not; what does matter is that I do not defraud.  Am I insisting on my rights…?

Whenever we are tempted to insist on our rights, or to insist that we are right, we are likely giving in to fear.  We are failing to do and to be love.  Love never fails. 

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