#1 New Year Resolution

The New Year

People have a way of looking at the end of one year and towards the beginning of another as a way of encouraging themselves to start making changes.  If I were to make a New Year’s resolution, I would resolve to make the kind of change that would help people receive even more and more of the love of God.  I know from past experience, with a resolution like this, not only would I be able to make key changes in my own life, but I would be able to help other people make changes in their lives as well.

And wouldn’t you know that as I’ve continued to press in for more change, I have discovered one of the most powerful teachings I have ever received, and it’s on the direct relationship between the blessings of God and the way we treat people.  This revelation was triggered in me by Luke 6:38, where Jesus said:

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

I know what you’re thinking:  Everybody knows that Luke 6:38 is the verse that ministers use to receive offerings and raise money.  But please believe me when I say, this verse is not just talking about offerings in a public assembly; it is talking about much, much more than this.

And it has affected my life as much as any verse has ever affected me.  So much so that I am convinced that one of the devil’s worst nightmares is for you to find out just exactly what is in this verse, and then for you to begin to walk in its truth.

But, first of all, we must understand that Jesus taught in total, entire subjects, and each scripture is a thought within itself-a stroke of the brush.  But, invariably, each thought always builds towards the completion of an entire picture.  This is why it is so important that we know not to take scriptures out of context.

For faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  Faith does not come by lifting verses out of context, but by hearing God’s Word in context.  Remember, each verse is a thought within itself, building towards the completion of the entire picture.

To help us better understand His teachings, Jesus would often use parables, which are illustrations of spiritual applications that we can understand with our natural minds.  For example, in order for our natural minds to understand the spiritual principles governing God’s Kingdom, Jesus used illustrations such as the lilies of the field, the fowls of the air, and the sower that sowed the seed, because these examples crossed all cultural barriers.  They were common, everyday descriptions that could be understood by the multitudes.

So, let’s go to the end of chapter 6, where Jesus concluded the subject He was teaching on by describing a walk of the spirit so powerful and full of victory that it stood firm against a raging storm.

Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.Luke 6:47-49

Isn’t this incredible?  Jesus said the man who built his house upon the rock not only heard His sayings but did them!
So the “deep digging” this man was doing must have been into the unchanging truth of God’s Word, clearing the debris of false doctrine and wrong teaching and establishing his house on the rock of doing God’s sayings!

But, notice, Jesus did not tell us that the storm would not come.  In fact, quite the opposite.  He told us it would.  He said the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.  And here is the part I love the most.  This man was on the inside of the house while the storm raged on the outside and could not get in!

Years ago, when I was first meditating on and receiving this revelation on doing God’s sayings, I could not help but wonder, Just exactly which sayings was Jesus talking about?  I did not have to go back very far into chapter 6 to find out.  In the 27th verse, Jesus taught using the exact same wording that we just heard in verse 47 when He said:  But I say unto you which hear . . . .

I could not help but get excited, thinking, Here it is; these are the exact sayings Jesus was talking about that put my house on the rock!

And as I read a little further into the 27th verse, I thought, Uh-oh!!!
Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.
As I continued to read, it got worse!
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.

Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. Luke 6:27-31
And I’m thinking, These are the sayings that I am supposed to build my house on?  Uh-oh!

Just in case you’re thinking that you are only supposed to act this way towards believers–that is, to them who will repay you, love you, and be kind to you–look at what Jesus goes on to say in verses 32-34:

For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

Now, it’s in the next verses that Jesus begins to conclude the instructions He was giving to us on how we are to treat our enemies.  Then He goes on to list the benefits for doing His sayings and reveals why our houses will not fall.
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Luke 6:35-38
It took me awhile to realize that in these teachings, Jesus was revealing the heart of the Father.  And the highest level of faith a person can walk in is in arming himself with the heart of the Father when dealing with those who don’t yet know Jesus.  The man who arms himself with the heart of the Father is the man who builds his house on the rock because he has purposed in his own heart to obey God’s Word.

You must understand:  It means everything to God for you to stand between Him and the lost sheep of His fold, doing what is necessary to hold the door of salvation open so that He might use the door to gather the sheep unto Himself.
When you look at a football stadium full of people, how many of these people do you think have eternal life?  I can tell you how many.  All of them!  The question is, Where are they going to spend eternity?

This is where we come in as the saved brothers and sisters of Jesus’ fold:  Our role is to reach the ones who are not yet saved.  Jesus has no other way to reach them but through us.  We are all He has.  This is why He said what He did in

Luke 10:2,3:
Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
Why doesn’t Jesus just send the laborers forth Himself?  He loves the lost sheep of His fold more than we do.  Why is our role so important to Him?

It’s because–as the Body of Christ–we are all God has.  Without us, He has no one on this planet to do His will.  We are His hands, His mouth, His feet.  Where we go, He goes.
Here is why your house will never fall if you do Jesus’ sayings and hold the door open to the lost:  When Jesus said, And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise (Luke 6:31), He did not say that everyone you treat the way you want to be treated will necessarily treat you the same.  But what He did say was that when you treat everyone the way you want to be treated, then that is how God is going to end up treating you!  People might not treat you right, but God will!  He will see that everything is measured back to you as you continue to demonstrate His heart.
One of the most powerful sayings Jesus ever made is found in Luke 6:36, where He said:  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.  You see, the difference between mercy and grace is that mercy is generally what God has for the sinner.  Grace is what He has for the believer.

For the sake of teaching, let’s just suppose that you and I were stranded on our planet, separated from God by a great void of spiritual death and had no way out.  We could go to the edge of the void and beg God to save us, but He could not because He would have nothing to save us with.

Then, in an incredible act of mercy, God sends His Son across the void of spiritual death, and the Son sheds His blood, just in case we want to go to the edge of the void, hold up His blood and ask, “Can You save us now?”  God would shout, “Yes!”  Mercy is what caused Jesus to cross the void, but grace is the standing He gave us when we acted on His mercy.
Here’s another example.  Say you caught a thief robbing your house and carrying your big-screen TV out the door during football season.  You grab your double-barreled shotgun and say, “Put it back!”
The thief says, “Please have mercy on me!  My family is starving and I need to feed them.”
You say, “Go ahead; take it.  Feed your family.”

That is mercy.  But grace takes that same thief, adopts him into his family, and gives him his last name and an inheritance from his household.
So when Jesus said, “Be ye merciful, as your Father is merciful,” what He was talking about was:  No matter what it costs you to hold up the blood of Jesus to the unthankful, the unholy–no matter what they do to you-you refuse to close the door of salvation.  Because, and keeping Luke 6:38 in context, “God is going to give it back to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over.”  How will He do this?  He will see that “men give unto your bosom, for with the same measure you mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.”

You see, Jesus instructed us in verse 37 to “judge not,” meaning that we should refuse to judge the sinner for acting out of his lost nature.   Instead, when we continue to hold the door of salvation open, by remembering the mercy Jesus extended to us and the grace God showed when he made us His heir, we strip the devil of his power to judge our house.  All the devil can ever do is send the storms of circumstance, fear, and care, but he cannot make us take them.

Jesus went on to say, “Condemn not,”and when you refuse to condemn, the devil cannot condemn your house.  “Forgive,” and the devil cannot find hatred to work through.  “Give,” so when the sinner takes away your possessions, no matter what it costs you, this is your promise from God:  Your house will not fall!

And if the sinner is set on taking away my goods, I might as well sow them instead and let him have them.  No matter what he does, I am going to hold the door of salvation open anyway!  I have God’s promise:
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

There isn’t enough paper in the world for me to express how grateful I am and how much I appreciate you.  My prayer for you is that you will learn to operate in the verses we talked about in this letter, and that you’ll also carry the heart of the Father as you deal with people so that He will be able to bless you with all the blessings He has for you in Heavenly places.  May this be your happiest and most blessed year yet!

By Dave Roberson:

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