I woke up as usual on Saturday 16th December, 2006 to do my morning devotion and I read Zech. 6:1-7:14. While I was at it the following verses stood out to me and I quote from the New King James Version bible (NKJV):

‘Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion, everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother.’

 God is very concerned about the relationship between persons. He wants us to live in harmony. The God we serve and worship is a very caring one.

God cares for his people (Deuteronomy 7:9);

God cares for underprivileged people (Psalm 68:5);

God protects the needy (Psalm 82:3);

God’s people should help the oppressed (Isaiah 1:17);

God wants you to care for your enemies (Luke 6:27);

God’s people should care for the needy (Luke 14:13–14);

God cares for his children (Romans 1:6–7);

God wants us to treat our parents  with care (Ephesians 6:2);

God wants us to treat co-workers with care (Colossians 4:1);

God wants us to care for the elderly (1 Timothy 5:1–4);

and Christians need to care for the needy (James 1:27)

To be under God’s care, you have to be living your life in accord with His will. To be in the will of God it is important to know who God is according to what the scripture has revealed to us.

God created everything (Genesis 1:1);

God is a warrior (Exodus 15:3);

God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4);

God is trustworthy (Deuteronomy 7:9);

God is too great to be described (1 Kings 8:27);

God is gracious and merciful (Nehemiah 9:31);

God is good (Psalm 34:8);

God helps his people when they are in trouble (Psalm 46:1);

God is mighty (Psalm 50:1);

God is our rock (Psalm 62:6);

God is our hope (Psalm 71:5);

God is near everyone (Psalm 75:1);

God is our salvation (Isaiah 12:2);

God is sovereign (Isaiah 25:8);

God is holy (Isaiah 29:23);

Only God is worthy of glory (Isaiah 42:8);

God is our father (Matthew 6:9);

God is all-powerful (Luke 1:37);

God is spirit (John 4:24);

God is all-knowing (Romans 11:33);

God is knowable (Ephesians 1:17);

God is living (1 Timothy 4:10);

God is King of kings (1 Timothy 6:15);

God is approachable (James 4:8);

God is judge (James 4:12);

God is love (1 John 4:16);

God is almighty (Revelation 1:8)

 This is the history of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless man living on earth at the time. He consistently followed God’s will and enjoyed a close relationship with him. Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and sacrificed on it the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose. And the Lord was pleased with the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the earth, destroying all living things, even though people’s thoughts and actions are bent toward evil from childhood. As long as the earth remains, there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.”(Gen. 8:22 NLT)

We have read in the scriptures how Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he looked at those around him and said, “These are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

We also have read Paul’s Final Advice to Christians in the book of 1Thessalonians 5:12-22, “Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and warn you against all that is wrong.  Think highly of them and give them your wholehearted love because of their work. And remember to live peaceably with each other.  Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.  See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to everyone else.  Always be joyful.  Keep on praying.  No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.  Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Keep away from every kind of evil.

Don’t ever forget those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering.  Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things.  You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail. When all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew you had better things waiting for you in eternity.   Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you!  Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. And a righteous person will live by faith. But I will have no pleasure in anyone who turns away.” (Heb. 10:32-39)

It is God’s will that your good lives should silence those who make foolish accusations against you. You are not slaves; you are free. But your freedom is not an excuse to do evil. You are free to live as God’s slaves. Show respect for everyone. Love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God. God is pleased with you when, for the sake of your conscience, you patiently endure unfair treatment. This suffering is all part of what God has called you to. Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in his steps. He never sinned, and he never deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted. When he suffered, he did not threaten to get even. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried away our sins in his own body on the cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. You have been healed by his wounds! Once you were wandering like lost sheep. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.

All Christian should be of one mind, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it.  For the Scriptures say,

“If you want a happy life and good days, keep your tongue from speaking evil, and keep your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Work hard at living in peace with others. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”(Psalm34:12-16)

(to be continued)

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