Cloudy Sky

This week has been one of national upheaval.  I am sure you are grieved, as I am, by the mistreatment of other human beings that we are seeing all around the country in one form or another. 

It was heartbreaking to see what happened to George Floyd. It’s heartbreaking to see what’s happening to so many others as violence and rage grips our nation. 

How are we to act in such a time as this? 

One thing is for sure, after watching social media at work this week, it is clear that the world needs less of our own opinions and more showing, living, and speaking of God’s love. If we focus on God and allow His truth to penetrate our hearts and clarify our vision, we will find that we can show God’s love much more effectively to those who are hurting and we will be less inclined to react from a place of flesh and fear. 

In the spirit of taking a step back from the rapid-fire forming and expressing of personal opinion, I am sharing the counsel of a few men more qualified to speak on the matters of the heart than I: Yeshua, James, and Augustine. I encourage you to meditate on these teachings and others like them in the coming days. 

May the wings of the Dove shelter and comfort you this Sabbath.

JAMES:

But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. 

YESHUA:

Seeing the crowds, He went up the hill. There He sat down and was joined by His disciples. Then He began to speak. This is what He taught them:

How blessed are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are the gentle: they shall have the earth for their heritage.

Blessed are those who mourn they shall be comforted.

Blessed those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.

Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.

AUGUSTINE:

Accordingly, two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by the love of God, even to the contempt of self. The former, in a word, glories in itself, the latter in the Lord. For the one seeks glory from men; but the greatest glory of the other is God, the witness of conscience. The one lifts up its head in its own glory; the other says to its God, “You are my glory and the lifter up of my head.” In the one, the princes and the nations it subdues are ruled by the love of ruling; in the other, the princes and the subjects serve one another in love, the latter obeying, while the former take thought for all. The one delights in its own strength, represented in the persons of its rulers; the other says to its God, “I will love You, O Lord, my strength.” And therefore the wise men of the one city, living according to man, have sought for profit to their own bodies or souls, or both, and those who have known God “gloried Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened; professing themselves to be wise”– that is, glorifying in their own wisdom, and being possessed by pride–“they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.” For they were either leaders or followers of the people in adoring images, “and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever.” But in the other city there is no human wisdom, but only godliness, which offers due worship to the true God, and looks for its reward in the society of the saints, of holy angels as well as holy men, “that God may be all in all.”…

But as this divine Master inculcates two precepts–the love of God and the love of our neighbor–and as in these precepts a man finds three things he has to love: God, himself, and his neighbor–and that he who loves God loves himself thereby, it follows that he must endeavor to get his neighbor to love God, since he is ordered to love his neighbor as himself. He ought to make this endeavor in behalf of his wife, his children, his household, all within his reach even as he would wish his neighbor to do the same for him if he needed it; and consequently, he will be at peace, or in well-ordered concord, with all men, as far as in him lies. And this is the order of this concord, that a man, in the first place, injure no one, and, in the second, do good to everyone he can reach … 

In the family of the just man who lives by faith and is as yet a pilgrim journeying on to the celestial city, even those who rule serve that whom they seem to command; for they rule not from a love of power, but from a sense of the duty they owe to others–not because they are proud of authority, but because they love mercy.”