(Mat 5:23,24 ) Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
This morning we continue to wind down our series, “You think you know what Love is?” We are closing out the series with a few benefits of walking in God’s love. Let’s look at another great benefit of walking in love: when you love God you don’t live a life full of strife.
The word strife means: violent conflict, contention, discord. We all know people that live this way; people that are always looking for ways to get upset, to argue, to get offended, and to stay offended. It is sad to say, but there are believers that live this way. This is why this series was about teaching believers to walk and abide in love. When we learn to walk in the love of God we are not easily offended. Offense is a choice and we simply choose not to get offended and if we ever get to the point where we get upset, we quickly deal with the matter and move on. Believers who walk in love are people that are quick to forgive, slow to take offense, and never looking to cause problems. Let me give you three reasons why those of us that walk in love can live strife-free lives:
1. We deal with issues quickly: Jesus said, “But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Mat 5:22-24). When we walk in love we don’t go around calling people names, we are not looking for ways to cause trouble, and if we ever realize that there is an issue between us and another, we are quick to go to that person and make every effort to fix the situation.
2. We treat others the way we want to be treated: Jesus said, “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behaviour: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them…” (Mat 7:12). When you walk with God you quickly learn that the Kingdom of God operates by the principle of sowing and reaping. If you sow discord, trouble, and strife you will reap discord, trouble, and strife. However, if you sow forgiveness, peace, and harmony you will reap forgiveness, peace, and harmony. The same is true with anything else. We will reap whatever we sow. Those of us that walk in love have learned to treat others – even those that are hard to deal with – the way that we want to be treated.
3. We keep our focus on God: Isaiah said, “You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You” (Isaiah 26:3). The person that walks in love keeps his trust and focus completely on God. We must all realize that humans are finite and flawed beings. People will fail you, but God never will. When you walk in love and you keep your focus on Him you can treat others well – even those that are difficult to love – because your focus is on God and not them.
So what does this mean to you today? It means that when you walk in love you can literally live a life that is free from strife, bitterness, resentment, and unnecessary stress. Isn’t that a better way to live? Start walking in love today!
Confession for this day: Lord God, I love You with all my heart and my love for You propels me to love others. I don’t live a life of strife and bitterness. I live a strife-free life. I am quick to forgive and slow to take offense. I am always looking for ways to be a blessing and not a burden. I enjoy my life and I walk around with a smile on my face, a song in my heart, and a spring in my step.
In Jesus’ name.